Emotional And Mental Health for Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s impacts your whole self. Therefore, attending to your emotional and mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health.

In this collection of resources, we share ways to stay mentally and emotionally healthy, view obstacles as opportunities, ask for help when it’s needed, give back, and build self-care and compassion into your daily life. We also share advice from Parkinson’s experts on the many kinds of counseling and therapy that can help you live well; how spirituality can play an important role in your emotional health; the medications that are available to help with mental health symptoms, and much more.

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Parkinson’s and the Good Life with Dr. Laurie Santos 

In Spring 2018, Dr. Laurie Santos taught “Psychology and the Good Life” for the first time at Yale. She created this course because she was worried about the levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress she was seeing as a Professor and Head of College. It became the most popular class ever taught at Yale. Dr. Santos graciously sat down with us to talk about how to live a “Good Life” while also living with Parkinson’s. Afterward, Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter Phinney helped us debrief what we learned and opened the floor for questions.

Positivity Extends Life

It’s a bold claim: positive thinking and positive social influences can improve your mental and physical health. But as surprising as it may seem, there’s a broad base of scientific evidence behind that claim. In this article, we explore how self-efficacy and self-care can help you live your best life with Parkinson’s. 

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YOPD Council: Mental Health And Parkinson’s

In this conversation, our YOPD Council Leaders share their strategies to get into a better headspace; tools for managing feelings of loss; ways to communicate issues of mental health to friends, family, and care teams; how to manage anticipatory grief in yourself and others; and ways to reframe expectations without settling for a life less lived. 

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How to Use Expressive Writing to Live Well with Parkinson’s 

Expressive writing, a brief writing technique that helps people understand, manage, and thrive during challenging times, involves writing about troubling issues for 15-20 minutes a day for three or four days. The value gained from the specific expressive writing format is that it has been found to improve people’s mental and physical health for days, weeks, months, and even years. Learn how this technique can help reduce stress, enhance emotion regulation, decrease negative thoughts, and improve your overall well-being. 

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