At the start of Parkinson’s Awareness Week, leading charity Parkinson’s UK has said that more than a third of people in the UK with the disease feel the need to hide their symptoms or lie about having the condition.
They feel the symptoms are not socially acceptable and may embarrass those close to them, and many people were struggling alone with their diagnosis, affecting emotional health.
Parkinson’s affects 127,000 people in the UK - about one in 500 people.
The main symptoms are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.
The charity surveyed 1,868 people with the disease to find out how they dealt with their diagnosis.
Younger people reported being hardest hit by the diagnosis to the extent that many said they felt "like their world had ended" and said "they didn't know who to turn to".
Steve Ford, chief executive at Parkinson's UK, says not getting help for the degenerative neurological condition was having a devastating impact on people's emotional health.
"We are determined that each and every person with Parkinson's is aware of the support available so they can feel equipped to have these difficult conversations.
"We know that the right support, whether through family, friends or Parkinson's UK, is vital for those with the condition, to help them come to terms with their diagnosis and know that they're not alone."
It’s estimated that 42,000 people in the UK have delayed sharing their diagnosis with a friend or family member.
When asked why they chose to not share their diagnosis with loved ones, patients said they didn’t want people to feel awkward or embarrassed around them.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged as the patient grows older.
The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s are uncontrollable tremors, muscle stiffness and slowness of movement but not everyone will experience all of them.
Other symptoms include fatigue, pain, insomnia, speech impairment, swallowing problems, falls, dizziness, bladder and bowel problems, eye problems and restless leg syndrome.
Absolute Healthcare care staff are specially trained under the guidance of two Registered Nurses, to provide medical and personal care to people living with the effects of Parkinson’s disease.