It seems a lot of people think Parkinson’s disease kills you. It’s no wonder when TV news reporters announce a famous person died FROM Parkinson’s. Recently, I was heartened to hear the TV anchorman used the correct phrase when reporting the death of a certain celebrity. He said the person “died AFTER suffering from Parkinson’s disease”. Using the word AFTER, makes the phrase accurate.
There are neurological diseases can kill you. For example, Alzheimer’s will kill you, whereas Parkinson’s progressively worsens with time. One PD sufferer said that, “Parkinson’s disease doesn’t kill you, but you might get to the stage where you wish it had”.
This is a clarifying statement and what caregivers and friends need to understand. As Parkinson’s worsens, it can lead to depression. Similarly, “depression” in and of itself does not kill you, but like many chronic illnesses, the most extreme manifestations of it can be life-threatening. So, caregivers and PD sufferers should take appropriate action if they detect signs of depression and continue to help people understand the effects of Parkinson’s.