Blog: The 8 Disciplines of a Parkinson’s Patient


Posted on the Micheal J. Fox Foundation Blog, by author Stephen Bergenholtz.

Stephen Bergenholtz talks about how he adjusted his lifestyle and mindset to overcome the loss of motivation associated with his Parkinson’s, through a list he called the “8 Disciplines of a Parkinson’s Patient”. He writes about how his substitute for loss of motivation is simply discipline, or regular repetition of an activity until it eventually becomes comfortable.

  1. I will meet regularly with my doctor, follow his or her advice and find a new doctor if he or she becomes unavailable.

  2. I will take my prescribed medications, track my medication supplies and discuss any side effects with my doctor.

  3. I will follow a personalized exercise program in consultation with medical and fitness professionals.

  4. I will make good sleep habits a priority and reduce factors which inhibit me from getting a good night’s rest.

  5. I will foster an attitude of optimism and well-being and strive to alleviate stress through fun and healthy activities.

  6. I will remain engaged with my family, friends, caregivers and others, resisting the tendency to withdraw socially.

  7. I will read about maintaining a positive outlook grounded in my faith beliefs or my spiritual development.

  8. I will contribute to the Parkinson’s community by giving my time, talents, money, or by participating in medical trials.