Over a third of patients with Parkinson’s say they hide their condition from others, a survey by Parkinson’s UK has found.
The survey of 1868 people with the condition found that 37% of respondents felt the need to hide their symptoms or lie about having the condition. Those who did so said their main concern was people feeling awkward or embarrassed around them (63%), while 34% worried they would be judged. A further 32% thought their symptoms were socially acceptable.
‘It's worrying that many people with Parkinson's, for a wide range of reasons, are not able to access the help they need – and it's having a devastating impact on their emotional health,’ said Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK. ‘We are determined that each and every person with Parkinson's is aware of the support available so they can feel equipped to have these difficult conversations.’
The survey also found that a third delayed telling family or friends about their diagnosis. According to Parkinson’s UK, this equates to roughly 42,000 people in the UK. Around 127,000 people in the UK are thought to have the condition.
‘We know that the right support, whether through family, friends or Parkinson's UK, is vital for those with the condition, to help them come to terms with their diagnosis and know that they're not alone,’ added Mr Ford. ‘We are here to help people find the support they need, when they need it.’