Since 2010, Van den Heuvel has been treating PD patients with psychiatric symptoms at the outpatient clinic for neuropsychiatry at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. A few years later Rutten joined the clinic. Together, they decided to write a book about their experiences with their patients. As reader you get an insight in the perspective of the psychiatrist and you are included in their observations and medical considerations. Van den Heuvel: "With this book we show that we can treat many psychiatric symptoms. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to look for ways to cope well with persistent symptoms."
The book features twenty personal stories from people with PD, who opened up about their personal experiences in the hope that they can help other patients. For example, to recognize the psychiatric symptoms, being able to talk about difficult topics, seek help and to find a way to deal with the mental side of PD together with loved ones and therapists. Van den Heuvel: "Gradually we became more and more impressed by the vulnerability of people who shared their fears and sorrows with us, but above all their zest for life, love for their loved ones, their creativity and resilience."
Does this book emphasize the psychiatric treatment of PD patients or rather their personal story? Rutten: "Our first idea was to paint a picture of the most common psychiatric disorders in PD. But as we continued writing, the personal story became more important. The life lessons we learned from all these people are equally as valuable as the medical knowledge we have shared in this book."
Want to read more about the book and the personal stories of PD patients? Read the following publications in Dutch media.
- De Volkskrant – Het leven is niet voorbij na de diagnose parkinson
- Trouw – Verslaving, angst en depressie: het verborgen leed van de parkinsonpatiënt
- Algemeen Dagblad - Doorbreek het stigma op psychische klachten bij parkinson
- Reformatorisch Dagblad – Zwaar depressief door parkinson
- Medisch Contact – Meer aandacht voor psychiatrische klachten bij parkinson