Living with Dystonia
Dystonia is a movement disorder that impacts the physical body, and it can also have an impact on emotional and psychological health. Living well with dystonia includes treating the physical symptoms, protecting emotional and psychological well-being, and accommodating your unique needs as an individual.
There is no single strategy for living well with dystonia. The following suggestions have been compiled from individuals with dystonia, support leaders, and healthcare professionals.
Cautiously Explore Complementary Therapies
Talk to your doctor about non-traditional therapies that interest you. Different complementary approaches may work for different people, but keep in mind there are numerous practitioners who falsely claim to have a unique ability to treat dystonia.
The benefits of exercise can be profound: strength, endurance, energy, stress reduction. Consider working with a physical therapist to develop an exercise plan that works for you.
Seek Help When You Need It
If you need assistance, reach out and be specific about what you are having trouble with. Accept help when offered—and without guilt.
Treat Depression & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety can dramatically impact quality of life and the severity of motor symptoms. Consider being evaluated for depression and/or anxiety and, if symptoms are present, seek treatment.
Be Mindful of Stress
Regular stress reduction and relaxation practices can have a positive impact on symptoms and overall well-being.