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Let's talk life - My dad has Parkinson's

Published:Saturday | April 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM
  • My dad has Parkinson's

Dear Counsellor,

My father has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and is taking medication. The doctor said it is in the early stages and the medication will slow the progression of the disease. He has tremors of the hands. He gets depressed about his condition and is thinking that he might have dementia.

- John

Dear John,

Your father is concerned about his health and so gets depressed. Patients with chronic illnesses are at high risk for depression. Illnesses may cause increase in dependency and poverty. Many patients have to take antidepressants and get counselling. Take your father to see a neurologist and a psychiatrist.

  • Discouraging weight

Dear Counsellor,

I have been trying to lose weight for the last four years with little success. Some people lose weight so quickly and are proud of themselves. I have tried so many diets and exercise programmes. I get discouraged easily.

- Judith

Dear Judith,

Weight management is a skill that defies people. A lot of money is spent on these programmes, which have a poor outcome. Think of a holistic approach. We need the internist, psychologist, surgeon, psychiatrist, and nutritionist. Each expert has skills in his area of competence. Many times, there are emotional issues interfering with the functioning of the individual. There may be low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and a negative attitude. Has your weight been constant over these four years? That is a positive. Some people gain weight constantly.

Set goals for weight loss - small goals. See the dietician to get a weight-management programme just for you. Set a time when you can assess yourself as to failure or success. Walking is good for you and you should do so daily for half an hour. Counselling is helpful as you will deal with issues in the past that are interfering with the present. Some people have been teased a lot as children and these memories bring a lot of tears.

Email questions and feedback for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to or call 978-8602.