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Topic Self Awareness Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By makrivah On 2014.04.21 21:59
A friend made an interesting comment about my PWP after being here over the weekend and watching him and then listening to my PWP's comments about not knowing he fell asleep in mid-sentence, or that he walks slowly, or that he takes sooo long to dress, etc. plus the fact he has no idea about his decreased driving skills. the comment was: "It seems like he has no self awareness."
Wow! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought he was in denial. But I now realize that he is unaware. Can anyone help me understand how this can be? PD symptom? Dementia? What?

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.04.22 00:35
Well Mak, that's a good query I don't know if anyone can give a definitive answer. I don't know if it really is a lack of self awareness. Is it a P.D. symptom? Maybe, could be, but I think it is a human reaction to adversity?

I think that this question has an interchangeable term that has to be viewed along with self awareness and that is self conscious. With a disease like Parkinson's you can't separate them in my mind at least. Do We tremor? yes, are we self aware we do? Yes Are we self conscious we do. Yes. But We don't want to think everyone is staring at Us. You don't want Us to hide inside the house because everyone stares at Us so you encourage us to go out. Telling us they don't so we to a degree convince ourselves it isn't that bad. We walk slow everyone notices it as they constantly pass by Us. but we're told oh you're not walking too slow you're imagining it. So we again convince ourselves of this.

We have to! It is part of the coping mechanism people have or develop. Try to imagine getting dressed and it takes forever.....why the heck do it? why not just flop back in bed and not get up at all? Then go through the day in slow motion compared to everyone else? Why do it? To me you can't as I said have self awareness with out self consciousness if We dwell on our slowness of dressing and functional lacking we are self conscious of it. (everyone notices and are staring or gawking at Us, we're just side-show geeks). So we go on trying to function to the best of our abilities at any given time during the day and night.

Are We self aware? Hell yeah, are We self conscious, hell yes but life goes on or we get severely depressed and it doesn't. So we try to go on as if nothing is wrong all the while displaying the bushel basket of symptoms we've drawn in the disease as if it is hanging around our neck yet somehow invisible.

Dementia was mentioned, they used to say the odds of developing dementia were 50/50 now with more attention being paid to side effects of medication and delusions from them the latest statistics I've seen say odds are around 20% give or take.

What is it? Life with Parkinson's Disease, sorry that's all I can come up with for an answer. That's all I will be apologizing for, welcome to my world, it is hard enough to just live without worrying about analyzing self awareness/ consciousness. With everything We deal with throughout the day (Parkies and our caregivers both) I'm amazed at the statement from the friend and I do hope it was made out of hearing from the PWP and not make in their presence like they weren't even there.

If anyone is interested yes, I'm aware it took me 65 minutes to type this response. Now you are too (it takes a lot for the PWP to answer questions here but We do in the hope it helps other through the strange journey of this disease. ) Peace, take care, best of luck and hang in there

By Mary556 On 2014.04.22 03:01
I believe my PWP is painfully aware of the deficits she experiences as a result of PD. She is always apologizing (for slowness, for losing words, for confusion, etc.). My mother does not want to be a burden to anyone and she never complains. Sometimes I wish she would vent more, if that could help to ease her frustrations and sadness... but she is protective of everyone else and not wanting to upset anyone. My Mom does not have tremor but has some symptoms that could make her feel self-conscious. It has never been in her personality to hide or to give up easily.

Someone who is visibly shaking might think that others are noticing them. Well, yes we are... but in a Good way. I wish every person with a disability or visible symptoms of illness could know the thoughts of strangers when we see them out and about, living their lives with courage, in spite of every difficulty. I would tell them "You are an inspiration to me"... "I want to learn to be strong like you"... and to the wounded Soldiers: "Thank you for risking your life and suffering a profound injury to keep us safe and free."

Lohengr1n, thank you for explaining how it feels for a Person with Parkinson's. Your insights are very helpful to me.

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