"It Freaked Me Out": Michael J. Fox On The Earth-Shattering Moment Of Being Diagnosed With Parkinson's

December 2, 2018 01:30

The story of Michael J. Fox is, perhaps, one of the most heartbreaking Hollywood tales. 

© Back to the Future (1985) / Universal Pictures

READ ALSO: Parkinson's What? Michael J. Fox Reveals His Pursuit Of Happiness To Beat The Disease

The famous actor was once everyone's favorite funny guy, owing to his roles in the 80s hit sitcom Family Ties and the legendary trilogy Back To The Future.

At the beginning of the 1990s, however, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease – a condition that would've ended any other actor's career – but Michael didn't give up.

© Back to the Future (1985) / Universal Pictures

Since coming out about his condition in the late 90s, Michael managed to continue acting and to this day follows his passion. Fox is celebrated for his strength and perseverence, but he almost gave up everything upon finding out about his disease.

Michael J. Fox reveals his first reaction to the diagnosis

The famous actor openly talked about his first reaction when the doctor told him he had Parkinson's. For Michael, it didn't seem real, and even made him angry:

Honestly, my first reaction was, ‘You’ve made a mistake — you’re not aware of who I am. I just thought, ‘This is preposterous that this is happening to me.’ I got this diagnosis, and it freaked me out, and I ran from it.

READ ALSO: By Now Michael J. Fox Should Be Overcome By Parkinson's, But He Fights And Helps Others To Survive

Understandably, such news is a hard pill to swallow, and Fox didn't have a good response to it. Burdened by words 'degenerative', 'progressive', and 'untreatable', he became desperate and turned to alcohol:

I responded by drinking too much. I drank to obliterate it, to make it go away. [But the abuse] caused tension in my marriage, which had always been good and has been amazing since.

In the end, Michael says it was his wife, Tracey Pollan, that helped him get out of depression and start fighting. Today, he is committed to raising research funding and awareness for Parkinson's disease and doesn't plan to stop.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

Although there is no cure, people with Parkinson's do have access to certain treatments that improve a number of symptoms. In order to respond and get needed help, everyone should be aware of the early signs of this disease:

  1. A tremor that begins in limbs.
  2. Slower movements.
  3. Stiff muscles.
  4. Change in handwriting.
  5. Change in speech.
  6. Suppressed automatic movements (blinking, smiling).

Chinnapong /

Although early symptoms are difficult to pinpoint right from the beginning, it's important to know risk factors and whether or not you have a genetic predisposition to Parkinson's.

READ ALSO: 6 Key Differences Between Alzheimer's And Parkinson's

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.