Opening up about a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is a personal and complicated decision. While some share the diagnosis immediately with friends, family, and colleagues, it’s common for people with Parkinson’s to conceal their condition, often for months or even years. Even actor Michael J. Fox waited seven years before revealing his diagnosis to the public.
My husband, Arman, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2009 at age 38. We chose to keep the diagnosis private until his symptoms became severe enough that they were compromising his overall function.
To disclose his diagnosis, as I shared in a previous column, we slowly told close friends, family, and eventually Arman’s medical colleagues, as he’s a cardiologist. Several were not surprised by the disclosure and were relieved that it was nothing worse.