Managing Day-to-Day Stress and Resilience in Parkinson’s Disease
Acute and chronic stress are widespread throughout our global community today. The prolonged pandemic-related stressors seem to pile onto other life stressors so commonly experienced. For those with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), not only are there increased feelings of isolation, anxiety, economic stressors, and sadness, grief or loss, motor symptoms and psychological stressors directly related to symptoms of PD can be exacerbated. When considering the vulnerability to psychological distress, understanding factors of resilience and specific coping strategies that can influence physical and mental quality of life are of great importance.
We had 567 participants in the survey. The top three stressors for the participants in this survey included having Parkinson’s disease, experiencing functional difficulties, and being impacted by COVID-19, followed by stressors related to relationships. The majority of the participants perceive their level of stress as moderate in severity, and 70% indicated that they perceive themselves as resilient. The most frequently reported coping techniques included: connecting with family and friends, distraction techniques, physical exercise, managing attitude, and connecting with nature. The relationship between stress, physical and emotional health, and quality of life are also discussed. Effective coping behaviors are also outlined in this report.