Thursday, May 11, 2023
Activist and retired actor Michael J. Fox discusses the ways he coped with his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. He initially received his diagnosis back when he was just 29 after he started showing indicative symptoms.
He noticed the most noticeable sign of the condition, the twitching of the fingers, when he was filming in 1991 for the romantic comedy Doc Hollywood. He admitted that he had been in denial for a year after he found out and began to drink heavily, which caused issues in his marriage with fellow actress Tracy Pollan.
“I intended to pretend as if this wasn’t happening to me. I drank to disassociate. Tracy got to the end of her rope because now we had twins,” he explained, now 61, in a new Apple+ documentary
His struggle with drinking already proved to be a cause for concern prior to the diagnosis due to his rise in fame as a leading star. “I drank to distraction, to escape my situation. I was an alcoholic.”
Fortunately, he realized that he needed to treat this addiction for the sake of his family and succeeded in doing so in 1992. However, he admitted that a part of him wonders if his alcoholism played a part in his Parkinson’s diagnosis.
“There’s so many ways that I could have hurt myself. I could have hit my head. I could have drunk too much at a certain developmental period.”