One of the most difficult emotional challenges of Parkinson's disease is to simply accept that it has happened to me and my family. While I can partially and quickly accept that it has happened to me personally I find it more difficult to accept that it will affect my loved ones as well-my children or grandchildren, my spouse, my siblings etc.
Nevertheless for most people with PD acceptance is an emotional necessity. At the very least acceptance allows you to stop wasting enormous amounts of energy on denial that there is anything wrong at all! Acceptance also helps one to channel anger and grief at the losses incurred into more promising avenues of resistance such as exercise, information-gathering and the creation of new friendships and relationships within the PD community. Acceptance allows me to be more available emotionally to my family and friends. It allows me to more easily plan for the future. It helps me to stay on track with respect to the treatment plan my doctor and I devised. Finally it allows me to see and document more exactly any new symptoms that might arise as my disease progresses. These new symptoms, when brought to the attention of my doctor, can then be treated in a more timely fashion.
Most important of all however acceptance brings me some peace of mind. OK I have PD. Now lets roll up the sleeves and get to work!
Parkinson's disease: The psychological aspects of a chronic illness. By: Dakof, Gayle A., Mendelsohn, Gerald A., Psychological Bulletin, 0033-2909, 1986, Vol. 99, Issue 3