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During this session, our YOPD Council leaders discussed regaining confidence after losing it in personal, professional, and social settings with the onset of symptoms in young onset Parkinson’s.
You can listen to the podcast below.
To download the transcript, click here.
- When you’ve been diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s and start experiencing symptoms, it’s not uncommon to feel like in areas where you were once thriving, you are now at the back of the herd. It’s natural for this to lead to a lack of self-confidence. While acknowledging that it is difficult, several of our Council members say they move past this feeling by adapting the things they love so that they are still able to do them (for example, Tom adapted his love of biking to his needs) and reminding themselves that their identity and value don’t lay in what they can do, but who they are
- Several panelists said that when they were first diagnosed, some of their best friends stopped reaching out. Again, this was a blow to their self-confidence. However, in time they realized that while they may have lost friends following their diagnosis, they ultimately gained new friends and formed even deeper bonds in the Parkinson’s community
- It’s natural for confidence to wax and wane. Much like everything relating to mental health, it is the continuous practice of healthy habits that will help you regain your confidence when you lose it from time to time
- When symptoms begin to appear, confidence in the workplace can take a nosedive, and for certain jobs, this can leave you with feelings of inadequacy. If your job has a direct, physical impact on another human, such as the healthcare industry, you may also worry about your ability to fulfill the duties of your job in an effective and safe manner. First, it is important to recognize that this is a common concern in the YOPD community, and there is no one right answer. Many people may consider leaving their job and finding a new path. For others, leaving your job may not be an option, and in that case, as Council leader Amy Montemarano explains, it’s wise to take the time to understand your disability rights, as these may help you adapt your role as needed, and remind yourself that it’s okay to have different strengths in the workplace than you used to. Living well with Parkinson’s requires you to live in the moment and adapt
What can you do today?
“Talk yourself into doing that one thing that you’ve wanted to do for a while that you keeping finding an excuse not to do.”
“Put together that to do list of things you want to do and do them.”
“To overcome apathy, pick a time for the things that you want to do and write them on your calendar.”
“Offer yourself some grace and flexibility, and ask yourself how you are feeling in the moment and what realistically you can do today.”
“Find the things you hate to do the most and challenge yourself to find ways to enjoy them.”
“Find somebody who inspires you and think about a piece of advice that they’ve given.”
“When you’re feeling bad or sad for yourself, say to yourself, ‘Well isn’t this interesting… I wonder what’s going on here?’ and ask yourself how you could change it.”
resources and topics discussed
Pass to Pass: An assistive hiking program for People with Parkinson’s
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*The Third Season of the Parkinson’s Podcast is made possible through generous support in honor of Dr. Margaret Hilgartner.