Geriatric Psychiatrist Questions Depression

How should I deal with mom's depression associated with Parkinson's?

My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in her sixties, and I can see how this disease is affecting her mentally. She was a very independent woman, and now she depends on me and my brothers for everything. How can I help her cope with her depression?

2 Answers

Hi, depression is quite common in Parkinson's disease due to destruction of the nerve cells that modulate mood. Typically, an antidepressant is required to manage depression such as this that has at least a partial basis in brain pathology. Of course, she may also benefit from psychotherapy that allows her to cope with the limitations imposed by the condition.
First make sure there is no underlying medical issue contributing to her decline ( ck B12 Thyroid) Then treatment with medication may be appropriate. The one drug least likely to interfere with her PD is sertraline. If she needs an appetite boost a small dose of mirtazapine before bed may be useful Theresa M. Redling DO, FACP Chief, Geriatric Health Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Director, Maida Geriatric Institute Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School