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Science Time 101: Depression and Parkinson’s Disease

It’s funny, you’d think a fair amount of depression or extreme emotion would come with a life altering diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and it does. I mean really I’d just turned 40 when I started my diagnosis process and then after a year and a half of tests and failed treatments a very kind and very talented Chinese doctor took one look, 40 min visit and looked me in the eye and said I have PD. Sure it was pretty heavy at the time but little did I know everything in my life has changed. Below you’ll find two articles that I’ve been re-reading as I’ve been struggling greatly as of late.

Depression

For people with Parkinson’s, depression is quite common and disabling—and it is the symptom most often overlooked. Up to 60 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience mild or moderate depressive symptoms. In fact, research suggests that the disease itself causes chemical changes in the brain that may lead to depression.

Parkinson’s affects many parts of the brain that are important in controlling mood. One of these is the area that produces serotonin, a brain chemical implicated in depression. Another part of the brain important in regulating mood—the frontal lobe—is known to be under-active in Parkinson’s. Commonly prescribed antidepressants can help. In addition to medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help some people with Parkinson’s.

Other researchers have found that people with Parkinson’s who were depressed had more trouble with daily activities, and were more likely to begin medication for motor symptoms sooner than those without depressive symptoms. Depression decreased their quality of life and made their motor symptoms worse—but treating the depression, rather than the motor symptoms, improved both quality of life and movement. If you feel you are doing very poorly, yet your doctor finds only mild physical impairments during your exam, you may be depressed. Depression can range from feelings of sadness and discouragement to extreme hopelessness. These feelings generally are different from the grief and frustration you may feel as a result of your diagnosis.

Tell your doctor if you are having these symptoms.
** Source

Cognitive Impairment

Another troublesome symptom of Parkinson’s is mild cognitive impairment. Many people with Parkinson’s are surprised to find that they feel distracted or disorganized, or have difficulty planning and carrying through tasks. It may be harder to focus in situations that divide their attention, like a group conversation. When facing a task or situation on their own, a person with PD may feel overwhelmed by having to make choices. They may also have difficulty remembering information, or have trouble finding the right words when speaking. For some people these changes are merely annoying, for others they interfere with work or with managing household affairs.

To some degree, cognitive impairment affects most people with Parkinson’s. The same brain changes that lead to motor symptoms can also result in slowness in memory and thinking. Stress, medication, and depression can also contribute to these changes.

It is important to tell your doctor if you have concerns about cognitive changes. You may need to change your medication. Or you may be referred to a neurologist or neuropsychiatrist for assessment. An occupational therapist can then work with you on strategies for adapting to, and coping with these symptoms. A speech therapist can help with language difficulties.

Cognitive impairment is different from dementia, which is a more severe loss of intellectual abilities that interferes with daily living so much that it may not be possible for a person to live independently. Two recent long-term studies suggest that many people with Parkinson’s will eventually develop a mild form of dementia as the disease progresses, usually many years after their initial diagnosis. One medication, Exelon ®(rivastigmine tartrate), is now available to treat dementia in Parkinson’s, and others are under study.

To learn more on this topic, read the article below by Alexander Tröster, Ph.D.

For further reading please follow the link. Cognition and Parkinson’s

** needless to say as a normal guy I’ve made some pretty huge mistakes but I have to say that if there was any one singular thing that I have a huge problem with is my cognition and emotional regulation. Which is funny because most ppl would say I’m pretty ” mellow ” when in fact lol I fight my demons daily,

I can handle the neuro-muscular pain of PD and I don’t mind the crazy neuropathy but the feeling of helplessness in my head will be the end of me I’m sure. Any how this isn’t about me, it’s about creating a world that has a better understanding and level of compassion for those in need. Again I hope world has been kind to you and you to it, please remember to always be brave,be bold and thrive in the life you have you never know when or how things will change.

Always,
B.
“A life in progress”

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3/1/15 pm music an pics

Sorry to have been absent as of late. Life yet again has taken an unexpected turn. But with some patience and some luck all things will work out just fine. Here’s a couple of the photos I’ve been taking of the world around me. As per usual it’s the world as I see it, please enjoy.
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Morning walk.
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Cow friends

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Another beautiful day.(Amity Oregon)

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Big Sky
*driving home(passengering)

I hope all of you have been well, someday I’ll paint again. Right now my heart and head are in to many place to be productive. As an artist and person with Parkinson’s I’ve not been feeling secure in my living situation which for a person in my medical situation is very, very scary. I need stability and currently I’m feeling like I’m waking a tight rope :( oh well. Day by day right?
Anyhow I hope where ever you are when you read this that you know someone else is smiling because of it.

Much love and light.
B.
“A life in progress”
2015

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Quick hello

Sorry to be away so much these days. I’ve been pretty sick this last week and for those of you who know me I’m a huge baby about being sick. Though I’ve had a small chance to play with some paint this week. Here’s a bad pic of what I hope will be the next in the Love language collection.

For those of you just joining the show L.L.C. is employing two very distinctive styles to create a completely complimentary style to what I’ve been working on mastering since I was a teen. This new “look” of the collection is designed to have a strong or bold look. Anyhow I’m back to bed for a nice cup of tea and nap.
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Again just a quick pic to give an idea.

Cheers and much love, please remember to be kind to each other. For if not you, then who??

Benjamin.
“A life in progress”
2015
** more updates soon, plus some more big life changed :-/

**Hilltop photo is original, taken 2/19/15 Amity Oregon.

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Studio Time~ 2/11/15

Whether I want to admit it or not another chapter I my life has started…. One could even say it’s a journey I’ve been on for a while though now I can see a tad more clearly the mistakes of my past and the lessons from which I’ve grown.
Today it feels as though my world is far more complex than I’d like with me still trying to put together some type of safety net in regard to my pd and my future…… At least one that doesn’t have me dying alone in some creepy forgotten hospital bed. :-/ Not something I’m looking forward to. Anyhow….. I digress… Please enjoy the next creation from the new Gallery and Studio space.
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“Untitled”
11.5 x 39.5″
Mixed media
400$ / 225£
Benjamin
**2015 Love Language collection**

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This new series is a moderate culmination of techniques I’ve been using for many years. Keeping with my traditional use of texture, washes and glazes I’ve started adding a secondary or primary top texture. Modeled after ancient Mesopotamian scripts and inspired by the most nurturing love I’ve ever known. I’ve titled this next collection “Love Language” I hope to use my artistic voice to speak a little more loud and clearly this year. For me this year will be full of trials and challenges I both know and can’t foresee but after this last year I’ve learned one thing clearly. That change is inevitable and bad things do happen to good people but how we choose to react and handle those “life lessons” is truly what defines us. I’ll never stop trying to learn and love. I’ll never stop giving all of myself to everything I do and I’ll never give up on hope. So please as always. Be brave, Be Bold and thrive in the life you have…… You never know how things will change.

Benjamin
2015
“A life in progress”

**Almost Done

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New things and stuff

After being gone for a while I’m never sure how to start these posts. Do I say Hi, how’s it going? Or gosh! Thanks for coming by? All I know is it’s been to long in between posts and there has been so much going on I’m not even sure where to start.!?

1. New office/gallery/studio
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2. Starting to ready my brain for the writing of “The Book”.

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Really life is going fairly well all things considered. The Parkinson’s is kicking my ass pretty hard but my heart and head are in a better place than they’ve been in a longtime. Now that the gallery and studio have moved into their own locations I’m hoping that the painting will start to commence again.
Honestly though between getting the new painting space ready, meetings and trying to regain some form of a “Normal” life. I’m pretty much exhausted all the time but I’d rather live tired than not at all….
**thoughts on change
At first I thought all the travel last year was a great way to work through some life issues then it turned into an escape mechanism as I struggled to yet again re-find myself which sadly I’d been trying to do since my diagnosis in 2011.
It seems I’ve land in a peaceful place for the time being, as a very dear friend of mine and I used to ask each other . My head,heart, body and soul? Are doing well. :) here’s a few quick pics of the completed gallery space. I’ve have some set backs in the overall plan but I’m not one to give up so we’ll see what the future brings.

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And another:

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Well unbelievably I started this post over a week ago. Typing isn’t really my strong suite anymore so I’ll end this post as it sits. I miss writing and sharing here a great bit, I have so many hopes and dreams for this new life I’m trying to grow and nurture. I just hope I get to enjoy some of it before my body decides to stop. Recent events have put a stop to all of my travel plans this year except for the Parkinson’s events that are planned. I’d hoped to make it to the UK but on SSDI and the painting not happening I doubt I’ll see my UK peeps this year :(
Anyhow much love and light, I hope the world is kind and generous with you and you to it. For if not you, then who??

Always.
B~xx
“A life in progress”
2015

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Completed~ Passages

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“Passages”
18″x18″
Mixed media
200 usd

An now for our customary close ups.

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Upper Right

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Upper Left

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Lower left

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Lower right

WORDS
~Passages~
Theses lines find no home
They just are…..
Or are they? Do they not give way to this journey of life?
Each new encounter not unlike a passage from your favorite book or a stroll down the lane at dawn as a gentle warm breeze pushes your hair aside.
These lines find no home…..
Or do they..?
Do they settle in your heart as they do
mine.?
Does the gentle sun as it warms your face remind you of my touch as it does mine to you.
These passages have found a home..
A home in your heart of hearts that only you could have done.
Passages
Benjamin
2015

As always my friends please take the time to be kind and understanding with each other for if not YOU then WHO positive change starts with you.

Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have.

Benjamin
2015
“A life in progress”

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“Passages” **almost complete

Just green tendencies I see these days with strokes of blue and yellow. Red for the pain and white for the light. Such passages are these we travel. What turn is the right one, should I go over or under or simple forget it all and fade away as I walk this next path.
Light echoes in dark corners pulling back the veil of truth, just glimpses I wish I never seen. Passages, some are easy some are not…. And are important.

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14×14″
Mixed media
200usd

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So fast……IDC-9 332.0

Here we are again you and I. Perhaps some music like in the old days.

Much better… And now to the matters at hand Parkinson’s, painting and life stuff.. First just a touch of the life stuff.
I feel like for the first time in my life I’m surrounded by people that share me desire to grow and thrive in life. People who know and understand the often difficult and quirky man I am. Though I must say I miss spending time with my beautiful and talented daughter Isabella. She and my son inspire me to be a better person daily.
Science(y) stuff….zzzzzzzzzzz
My PD has been changing and shifting as it does and will which in my moment of weakness cause little ripples of pure terror to echo through my soul but what’s a fella to do but ride it out until the fear of a frozen body and active mind passes. Frozen? You maybe wondering, “I thought PWP moved lots “wiggled” yeah….well not really, the Latin for PD is “arresto momentum” LOL not really that quote belongs to Harry Potter. paralysis a’gitans : Parkinson’s disease
is the Latin for PD which is effectively translated into the “Arrest” or stopping of movement or motion. So now you know :) Okay, we’ve had some music and a little “learning time” now perhaps some art to lighten the mood.
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This piece is a continued unfinished work in progress. I’ve also been spending more time with “?”
This piece:

IMG_9754.JPG apparently I haven’t taken many pictures yet of this piece. The piece leaning against the wall is coming along nicely though the piece on the table is proving to be a challenge, but that’s a good thing right? Challenge myself to grow, change, continue to push my boundaries as an artist and human.
Oh and I just remembered to share this, I’ll be opening a gallery space here in the building within the next few weeks!!! Woot!!! Well it’s time to hit “post” and do a little sharing, sorry thins are a bit disjointed but sitting and typing doesn’t really happen anymore these days. I’m really trying hard to be very present in my life right now, so for now I’ll bid you adieu.
May all your dreams come true”

Benjamin
“A life in progress”
2015

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