Parkinson's disease, depression, and "weird feeling" while showering.
December 9, 2013 3:52 PM Subscribe
My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in April, and also has major depressive disorder. She says that showering causes her to feel "unbearably bad" and gets very agitated (wringing her hands and pacing in the bathroom) when she is forced to shower. Does anyone know if this could be related to Parkinson's? It seems like more than the lack of hygiene that sometimes accompanies major depression.
posted by odayoday to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
She is seeing a neurologist for the Parkinson's and depression, and the neurologist is focusing on treating the depression, since the Parkinson's symptoms are not as bad as the depression. She has small hand tremors and an unusual gait, and has also said she no longer tastes food. She spends most of her time in bed (she has a lot of anxiety and doesn't like interacting with people, and feels that most things are pointless. Her depression has been very resistant to medication, and although her energy level has gotten better with a high dose of Effexor, her mood is still very negative. Her neurologist is planning to add Abilify this week to see if that helps as well.), although she will accompany family members out to eat or to the movies if encouraged.
She currently lives with her sister, who is very passive and is not comfortable forcing my mom to do things. When I visit weekly, I make my mom take a shower, and it's usually about an hour to an hour and a half long process in which I set a timer to let her know when she's going to have to do it, then when the timer goes off, I will give her "a few more minutes," then finally get her up (if I ask her to take my hands so that I can help her out of bed, she will, but she won't get up on her own). Today I had to stand inside the bathroom door to block her from leaving, and then repeatedly tell her that I know she hates showering and that it feels bad to her, but that she has to do it because it's not healthy to be dirty all the time. Once in the shower she will wash her body and hair (I offer to help her, and she sometimes wants help and sometimes doesn't), and then finish up and get out, but describes feeling that showering is pointless because she never feels clean, and also that it physically feels bad. I tried to get her to be specific about how it feels (pain/pins and needles/bugs crawling/discomfort), but she said it's not painful, it just doesn't feel right.
Sorry for the long post, but has anyone ever heard of this before? I initially though that she just didn't want to shower, and that it was related to the depression, but I don't really think that's it because of her extreme agitation when already in the bathroom, and her insistence that it feels strange. She's generally upfront and honest about how she feels, so I don't think she would make up that it physically feels strange.