If you’re regularly told that you look serious, depressed or angry when you’re not, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Some Parkinson’s patients in the Parkinson’s Foundation forum say this symptom was one of the first things they noticed and caused them to chat to a medical professional about the condition.
When we think of muscles that can be affected by stiffness and slowness, we normally jump to legs, arms, abdominals, shoulders, back or anything you use to exercise with.
However, The Parkinson’s Foundation points out that the same stiffness and slowness that can impact your walking and other activities can have more subtle impacts such as reduced facial expression (also called hypomimia or facial masking).
The Foundation’s site reads: “When the muscles of the face are stiff or take longer to move, it can be hard to crack a smile, raise your eyebrows or otherwise express your feelings using your face, which is an important part of how we communicate.
“Combined with Parkinson’s speech changes, such as low voice volume, facial masking can make it hard for others to interpret your mood and intentions.
“People might assume you’re upset or depressed all the time, which can be frustrating if they constantly ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ when you are feeling fine.”
Although, it’s worth mentioning that mood changes and depression are common and treatable in Parkinson’s disease, so it’s important to be honest about your feelings and get help.
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