- People with Parkinson's disease may show signs of depression like condition called demoralization.
- Demoralization is considered to be state of feeling helpless and hopeless, with a self-perceived inability to perform tasks in stressful situations.
- People with Parkinson's disease were 2.6 times more likely to be demoralized when compared to people who did not have the disease.
People who have Parkinson's disease may show signs of depression, but that could actually be another condition disguised as depression, finds a new study. The psychological condition which is being talked about here is called demoralization.
The findings of this study are published in the journal of Neurology. The study also found that this condition was common among Parkinson's patients.
People who are demoralized experience a feeling helpless and hopeless, with a self-perceived inability to perform tasks in stressful situations but when it comes to depression, the patient usually knows the correct course of action but due to the lack of motivation he chooses not to act.
"The distinction between depression and demoralization is important because the treatments approaches are different," said study author Brian Koo, MD, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Demoralization may be better treated with cognitive behavioral therapy rather than antidepressant medication, which is often prescribed for depression."
A group of 180 participants were enrolled in the study; all had an average age of 68. In this group, a total of 94 patients had Parkinson's disease, and the rest did not.
Participants were evaluated by questionnaires such as "Do you experience feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or giving up?" or "Do you feel that you have failed to meet your expectations or those of other people?".
People with Parkinson's disease were 2.6 times more likely to be demoralized than people without the disease found the study. In people who actually had the Parkinson's disease 18 percent or 17 of 94 people, were demoralized compared to the other 8 percent, or seven of 86 people in the control group.
In addition to this they found that among the total group of Parkinson's disease patients, 20 percent, or 19 of people, were depressed compared to 4 percent, or three of 86 people in the control group.
Even though when both of these conditions could have occurred at the same time, researchers found there were individuals with just one condition and among the total 95 people with Parkinson's disease, 37 percent say seven out of 19 people with depression were not demoralized.
Also, only 29 percent or five out of 17 people who were demoralized were not depressed.
"This suggests that demoralization is not simply a marker of depression," Koo said.
Researchers also found that demoralization, but not depression, was tied to the inability to control movement.
The study also helped the researchers realize that demoralization, but not depression, was tied to the inability of the patient to control movement.
Koo said, "Since our research shows a link between demoralization and a person's ability to function, more research may help further define how to best treat demoralization in Parkinson's disease."
Lack of information on the nature of employment was one big limitation of this study. Another one was that the patients who had severe symptoms of Parkinson's disease were more likely not to participate in the study, so the actual prevalence of demoralization condition could have been underestimated.