Many Parkinson’s Sufferers Forced to Hide Their Symptoms, Survey Suggests

April 19th, 2016

Many people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease feel obliged to hide their symptoms, a survey has revealed.

Research carried out by Parkinson’s UK said that a large number of those affected feel the need to lie about their condition or hide their symptoms because they feel embarrassed or ashamed. The charity sent a survey to 1,868 people who had Parkinson’s to learn more about how they cope with the debilitating disease, gauge their reaction to social settings and see how they feel other people respond to their condition.

The survey results make for sobering reading. More than a third of people admitted that they had put off telling family and close friends about their diagnosis due to fear of their reaction and a worry about facing the stigma in wider society. Young people were particularly rocked by their diagnosis, wit many admitting that they felt like the world had come crashing down around them. Many also stated that they felt very alone.

Chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, Steve Ford, said that the findings highlight the need for change in attitude to Parkinson’s disease and greater support for those who suffer from the condition. Parkinson’s disease affects 1 in 500 people in the UK and the main visible signs are tremors and moving very slowly.

Mr Ford said that it was essential for people to have the support they need, right through from diagnosis to advanced stages where they require care at home. The charity is there to ensure that every person affected knows they have somewhere to turn. This doesn’t just apply to patients, but also to their families.

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