Are Parkinson's pharmaceutical commercials more hurtful than helpful?

Are Parkinson's pharmaceutical commercials more hurtful than helpful?

“I knew about the tremors, but when I started seeing things, I didn’t know what was happening.”

In the last few years, we’ve been inundated with commercials for new drugs. Name a disease and there’s a new wonder drug that’s guaranteed to bring you relief. Here’s how these ads work: First, you’ll see someone in discomfort and suffering from whatever is the affliction of the day. Then the voice-over actor talks about the drug and how it works, while the actor on the screen suddenly feels better and is now living life to his/her fullest. Finally, the possible side effects from taking this miracle drug are mentioned and mentioned and mentioned again. This takes up a majority of the commercial and in a lot of cases they are scarier than the actual disease you’re trying to manage. I love it when they say taking so and so could lead to possible heart disease, cancer or even DEATH!! Duh duh duh!!!

Hey, what’s risking your life if you could solve a pesky stomach problem?

Lately, I’ve been seeing a new ad for a Parkinson’s Disease drug. It’s caught my attention for two different reasons:
a. I’m part of the ten million people worldwide living with P.D.
b. The man in the commercial is shown having a hallucination. He hanging out with his pet dog and a second one pops into his vision.

Hmmm….I’ve haven’t seen anything like that since the 1970’s. You’d think that Timothy Leary was directing the ad.

I’m making jokes about the ad for two different reasons:
a. After you get over the shock of the hallucination, it’s kind of funny…kind of.
b. It’s a defense mechanism because the possibility of dementia/hallucination is scary….SCARY AF!!!!!!!

Most of us who have Parkinson’s have done some research into the disease. We know that it’s a lot more than just tremors and balance issues. We have problems dealing with stiffness, joint pain, handwriting changes, constipation and urinary tract infections. More life threatening are the increased odds of getting Melanoma and different forms of dementia/hallucinations.

I’ve already dealt with Melanoma. I have no idea if it was due to the Parkinson’s vitamin deficiency or years of being in the sun without protection. Maybe a little bit of both.

As scary as cancer is, for me, dementia tops that. Finding out that having Parkinson’s increases your odds of getting Alzheimer’s Disease at a fifty percent rate than the general population was the scariest thing about the disease. I admit to obsessing over that. It still shakes me up when I think about it…which I try not to do too often. I don’t need a commercial to tell me about the horrible things that come with Parkinson’s Disease. I’m pretty sure most of my fellow sufferers don’t, either.

I’ve probably seen the above commercial maybe twenty times. At first, it made me upset. I got over that and actually can smile when I see the two dogs. Still, I think the commercial is more harmful than helpful. It adds to the anxiety about the disease. Maybe I should just change the channel. I hope everyone else does, too. Now that’s helpful!

Related Post: Parkinson’s, Valium and Alzheimer’s: A deadly trio

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