New Wave Treatment for Loneliness and Depression

The seasons of life rightly include different people at different times.

Parkinson’s is a disease that often isolates the patient- not because of contagion but because the symptoms can make one feel unfit to be out in the world.

The world can also be unsafe for one whose symptoms obviously make them vulnerable if anything out of the ordinary happened and there wasn’t immediate help available.

It can feel simpler to just stay at home.

Andy’s and my home is also a sanctuary for us. It is an artful, clean space that is located in a mountain forest. We have uncountable happy memories infused into our home. We love being there but even the most well loved home can turn into a place where loneliness and depression can take hold.

Living with the changes a disease causes can have the effect of many close friends from “before” disappearing out of regular life. I have understood that this is not even an unnatural situation but it can feel unkind and trigger loneliness.

The seasons of life rightly include different people at different times.

It is reasonable to become very close to some of our children’s friend’s parents and then to grow further apart as the children grow up.

It is common to have close friends at work and when our job changes many of those friendships do too.

When a season of sickness or disease comes along, it can be difficult not to take the disappearance of some friends personally.

The only answer we have found, is to make new friends. But there is always an in between time before new friends show up, when the sick person is extremely vulnerable to loneliness.

Loneliness leads to depression.

I think just knowing that new friends who are able to be supportive and accepting will show up, helps.

It takes time being out in the world with your disease for new friendships to grow- but it does happen.

For us, a few old friends were able to adjust their perspectives and remain active in our lives. We met new friends at Andy’s Parkinson’s support group, through a veteran’s outreach program and from continuing to travel for fun and staying involved in our kid’s and family’s lives. Andy lost friends from the gym where he used to work out and made new friends at the new gym that specialized in working with Parkinson’s patients.

Try to see that the lonely period is a temporary readjustment. Do go out and engage in the world in ways you are able to.
Take heart and know that this world is full of people and it can take a little time to find your friends after any major life change.

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