It is normal to experience feelings such as anxiety, stress, fear, or sadness during difficult periods in your life. However, when these feelings begin to interrupt your daily functioning, it is important to be prepared to ask for support.
The information in this self-assessment is intended to be used for general information only, and should not replace consultation with healthcare professionals. Please speak with a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions.
It can be helpful to discuss your situation and feelings with other people with Parkinson's, carepartners, a support group, or a professional on your healthcare team. Seek support from your network if you feel:
- sad or mildly depressed, but still functioning
- guilty about a decision you need to make, or in general
- unable to ask for help from family or friends
- stuck or confused
- like no one is hearing/listening to you
Talk to a therapist or counsellor if:
- your relationships feel strained
- conflict with family, neighbours, or friends has increased
- you feel like family and friends are neglecting you
- you feel abandoned or isolated
Seek immediate professional help if:
- you feel so depressed, hopeless, or anxious that you can’t function
- you feel physically ill due to your mental state
- you feel like you are in danger
- you feel like hurting yourself or someone else
- your intake of alcohol or recreational drugs increases
- you are not eating well (eating too much, not enough, and/or poorly)
- you are not sleeping as well as usual, and always on high alert
- you no longer want to take care of yourself
- you feel like there is no joy in your life
- you see your own death as the only way out
All primary care physicians are trained, qualified, and prepared to provide mental health care to their patients. Your family doctor can diagnose mental health conditions, offer support and guidance, prescribe treatments and medications, and provide referrals for further care. When requesting an assessment with your doctor, schedule an appointment separate from your regular check-ups or Parkinson's related treatments to allow enough time to thoroughly discuss your condition and treatment options.
Sometimes, it can be difficult talking to healthcare professionals about mental health. Issues like depression and anxiety are heavily stigmatized, so it's possible to feel like your feelings are not valid, important, or worthy of attention or treatment. However, mental health requires the same care and maintenance as physical health, which is why your healthcare team is equipped to help you with both.
It's normal to feel apprehensive about a mental health assessment. An important step in preparing to ask for support is working to understand your negative thoughts and feelings. Consider talking to a counsellor or therapist to explore your challenges and potential treatment or therapy options, or use online asessment tools (see below). If you would like to pursue pharmaceutical interventions or brain stimulation therapies, seek the help of a doctor or psychiatrist.
If you have plans to undergo a mental health assessment with a healthcare professional, this HealthLink BC resource can walk you through the process, and what to expect.
Online Screening Tools
To better understand your mental health, and identify your concerns challenges, try using these self-assessment and screening tools:
HeretoHelp BC: Online Screening Self-Tests
Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health Meter & Stress Index
MindWise: Mental Health Screening
University of Victoria Substance Abuse Screening Tools
How to get immediate help
If you believe you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency, please call 9-1-1 or visit the nearest emergency room. You can also seek support from a suicide or crisis hotline. See a map of crisis support hotlines across British Columbia here. For more information on where to get help, please visit the BC Crisis Centre website.