What Alan Alda's Parkinson's Diagnosis Does for the Rest of Us | MyParkinsonsTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyParkinsonsTeam
Powered By

What Alan Alda's Parkinson's Diagnosis Does for the Rest of Us

Posted on April 19, 2019

When Alan Alda, star of “M*A*S*H“ and “The West Wing,” revealed he had Parkinsons disease, he said he wanted to “reassure people“ diagnosed with the movement disorder that its still possible to do things. His words created a wave of empathy and validation that washed over the Parkinsons community. “Wow. Even him, too?”

Three things happen for us when a celebrity opens up about a diagnosis and shares the fact of their chronic illness with us.


First, they help to destigmatize the disease. The condition becomes more visible and relatable. Suddenly, we see our friends and family changing their attitudes toward our condition, and even toward us.

Second, we feel more hopeful and inspired in our own life. Knowing that a celebrity is facing the same day-to-day struggles we do, all while under the glare of stardom, we are more endeared toward them. We especially feel a connection when they use their voice to bring visibility to Parkinson’s disease.

Finally, we feel empowered by the will of celebrities to step forward and take control of the narrative about their condition under intense media scrutiny. When they show the world what it means to live with Parkinson’s, they offer a road map and inspire confidence for how we might do the same.

Whether famous or not, the public acknowledgment of one’s disease is a brave act in the face of the stigma of chronic disease. As Parkinson’s disease awareness spreads, acceptance soon follows.

Is there a notable person who has inspired you? How do you feel about celebrities discussing their condition? Share in the comments below or post on MyParkinsonsTeam.

Posted on April 19, 2019
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

We'd love to hear from you! Please share your name and email to post and read comments.

You'll also get the latest articles directly to your inbox.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Related Articles

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with behavioral changes such as irritability and anger.

Dealing With Anger Outbursts and Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with behavioral changes such as irritability and anger.
A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is a life-changing event that can alter the way you think about y...

Medical Power of Attorney: 5 Facts To Know

A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is a life-changing event that can alter the way you think about y...
“I have fallen at least a dozen times, and thankfully, have not broken anything,” one member of M...

Balance and Parkinson’s: 6 Ways To Prevent Falls

“I have fallen at least a dozen times, and thankfully, have not broken anything,” one member of M...
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that requires long-term care as the disease progresses...

Parkinson’s Disease Caregiver Guide: 5 Ways To Support Your Loved One

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that requires long-term care as the disease progresses...
Welcome to MyParkinsonsTeam — the place to connect with others living with Parkinson's disease. ...

Getting Started on MyParkinsonsTeam (VIDEO)

Welcome to MyParkinsonsTeam — the place to connect with others living with Parkinson's disease. ...
Your body needs just the right balance of vitamins and minerals to function properly. When you’re...

Magnesium and Parkinson’s Disease: Are Supplements Beneficial?

Your body needs just the right balance of vitamins and minerals to function properly. When you’re...

Recent Articles

MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...

Crisis Resources

MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...
If you’re living with Parkinson’s disease and struggle with a quiet speaking voice or other speec...

Voice Problems and Parkinson’s: Causes and Management

If you’re living with Parkinson’s disease and struggle with a quiet speaking voice or other speec...
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder that usually worsens over time. There are...

5 Stages of Parkinson’s Progression

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder that usually worsens over time. There are...
People often think of Parkinson’s disease as simply a movement disorder, but it also has nonmoto...

Behavioral Changes and Parkinson’s

People often think of Parkinson’s disease as simply a movement disorder, but it also has nonmoto...
Managing the late stages of Parkinson’s disease is challenging for people living with the conditi...

End-Stage Parkinson’s Disease: What To Know

Managing the late stages of Parkinson’s disease is challenging for people living with the conditi...
People with Parkinson’s disease may develop a symptom called hypomimia, which is a loss or reduct...

Facial Masking (Hypomimia) With Parkinson’s Disease: Causes and Management

People with Parkinson’s disease may develop a symptom called hypomimia, which is a loss or reduct...
MyParkinsonsTeam My Parkinson's disease Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close