Patience and Empathy: Understanding PSP and Its Impact on Behaviour

Patience and Empathy: Understanding PSP and Its Impact on Behaviour

Living with or caring for someone with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a journey that can be both emotionally and physically demanding. PSP, a neurodegenerative disease, not only affects movement and balance but can also influence behaviour and cognition. As the disease progresses, those with PSP might display agitation, impulsivity, or even make hurtful remarks. In these challenging times, it’s pivotal to remember that these behaviours are manifestations of PSP and not a reflection of the person’s genuine character or intentions.

PSP’s Influence on Behaviour

The changes in the brain due to PSP can have profound effects on behaviour. The same individual who was once calm and patient might become irritable or impulsive. It’s crucial to recognize that these behavioural shifts aren’t deliberate or willful but are the result of changes in the brain.

Navigating with Patience

1. Pause and Reflect: When faced with challenging behaviour, take a moment to remind yourself that it’s PSP at play, not the individual you’ve known and loved.
2. Seek to Understand: Remember, the person with PSP is likely struggling internally, too. They might feel trapped by their changing behaviours and may not always understand or recall their actions.
3. Maintain Calmness: Reacting with frustration can worsen the situation. A gentle tone and reassurance can be more effective.
4. Redirect Attention: If they seem fixated on something distressing, guide their attention towards a different, calming activity or topic.

Fostering Empathy

1. Educate Yourself: The more you know about PSP, the better equipped you’ll be to handle its varied challenges. Knowledge can foster empathy.
2. Connect with Support Groups: Interacting with others who are experiencing similar challenges can be comforting. They can offer insights, understanding, and coping strategies.
3. Consult Professionals: Therapists or counsellors, especially those familiar with PSP, can provide valuable advice on managing difficult behaviours and emotions.
4. Prioritize Self-Care: Your well-being is essential. By taking care of your emotional and physical health, you’ll be in a better position to support your loved one with PSP.

In Conclusion

Navigating the challenges of PSP requires immense patience, understanding, and love. It’s essential to continually remind ourselves that the disease’s behavioural effects are not reflective of the person we know and cherish. Through empathy and knowledge, we can offer the compassionate support our loved ones deserve.
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2 comments

Good point Tim! We have to remember all sides. Xx

Laura

Navigating with Patience
2.Remember, the person with PSP is likely struggling internally, too. They might feel trapped by their changing behaviours and may not always understand or recall their actions. For me, some days are like proverbial see-saw. Logic and expectations gp out the window.

Tim Brown

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