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Two-Fifths Of Parkinson's Patients Hide Symptoms, Diagnosis: Survey

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People diagnosed with Parkinson's disease feel that they need to hide their symptoms or diagnosis, a new survey found.

ComRes on behalf of Parkinsons UK conducted a survey as part of Parkinson's Awareness Week, which runs from April 18 to 24.

The survey revealed that nearly two-fifths of people in the United Kingdom have felt forced to hide their symptoms or lie about their diagnosis.

In the UK, there are about 127,000 people living with Parkinson's disease. An estimated 42,000 people do not immediately share their diagnosis, which could mean that they are not completely accessing the support they need.

Social Stigma

The reasons of people who feel the need to hide their symptoms or lie about their condition, include the fear that being diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease will make other feel embarrassed or awkward around them, they feel that their symptoms are not socially acceptable and they do not want to be judged.

Being diagnosed with an incurable and progressing disease is hard to bear and no one should feel alone in facing such diagnosis they had not expected. More than one-third of the people who were part of the survey suffered negative emotions in the year following their diagnosis, the survey found.

Younger people experienced the most emotional impact with many them reported feeling grief, confused as to whom they can turn to and as if their world had ended.

The Right Support

"Too many people are struggling with their diagnosis alone because of fear of what people might think, say or do," Steve Ford, Parkinson's UK chief executive, said.

Parkinson's UK urges people with the condition to seek for help available. Professionals who are part of the charity are knowledgeable on the right support for patients.

"We are here to help people find the support they need, when they need it," Ford added.

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease, which means it will get worse over time. This disease mostly affects mobility and how people move.

Normally, nerve cells make dopamine, an important chemical that sends signals to the part of the brain that controls movement. In Parkinson's, there is nerve cells breakdown and reduced levels of dopamine. This will result to the difficulty in performing certain movements that seemed easy in the past like walking, talking and doing certain activities.

A person with Parkinson's usually experiences hallmark symptoms such as tremor, stiff muscles, slow movement and problems with balance or walking.

There is still no known cure for the disease, but therapies and medicines are helpful in managing its symptoms.

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