The Chase’s Paul Sinha opens up on feeling depressed after Parkinson’s diagnosis

The Chase star Paul Sinha said he's felt depressed since his Parkinson's diagnosis over two months ago. Source: Getty

The Chase star Paul Sinha has admitted to feeling depressed following his recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, explaining the emotional rollercoaster he’s been on since learning the devastating news in a lengthy and emotional update on his health. Just weeks after announcing his shock diagnosis with the terrible disease, the 49-year-old said he’s on the road to “emotional recovery” and is constantly reminding himself of the good things in life.

Posting a long message to fans on his blog, Paul credited cricketer Ben Stokes for helping him out of a recent low point after watching the sportsman lead England to victory in a tense match against Australia at the weekend. The popular chaser said he had been feeling “flat and depressed” but Stokes helped to change his thoughts as the TV star watched the third round of the Ashes in anticipation, forgetting his worries and fears for the short period of time.

“As the miracle was unfolding, I forgot my aches, pains, anxieties, weaknesses and limps and just got lost in my ‘happy place’,” he wrote in the moving blog post. “I was unconditionally excited.”

Paul went on to explain that while he’s not usually an emotional person, his battle to date with Parkinson’s has tested him and confessed he is still learning to live with the disease two months on. He said it’s the little things in life that are keeping him going throughout the journey, reminding him that life is special.

“A lot of people don’t get over emotional,” Paul said. “It’s not for me. As I get used to this new life, I treasure the things that remind me that most of the time life is great. Love is a Bourgeois Construct by the Pet Shop Boys; Fleabag’s sister finally doing the right thing; bacon and egg baguettes; Steve Cram’s commentary on Kelly Holmes’ first Olympic gold; The Chase contestant who gave Bradley a lecture on the lammergeier; sporting miracles.”

He added: “With the return of Steve Smith, there is every chance the Aussies will outclass a mostly misfiring England team. For now, I don’t care. Ben Stokes, for what you’ve done to help me on the road to emotional recovery, you’re a hero.”

Paul’s update comes around two months after he revealed to followers that he was battling with Parkinson’s. The notoriously tough chaser chose to share the deeply personal news about his diagnosis on social media and vowed to fight the debilitating and incurable disease, which affects the central nervous system.

“I have Parkinson’s disease,” he wrote. “I will fight this with every breath I have.” The 49-year-old TV star and comedian also penned a very emotional blog post about his diagnosis, simply titled ‘Diagnosed’, in which he revealed that he was delivered the life-altering news on May 30th before deciding to go public.

“On the evening of Thursday May 30th, an experienced consultant neurologist calmly informed me that I had Parkinson’s disease,” he wrote on his Sinhaha blog. Paul revealed that his path to diagnosis was a long one which started in September 2017 when he suffered a frozen right shoulder, which then led him to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and lose two stone, before undergoing a shoulder operation in January this year.

However things took a turn for the worse last month, during a trip to New Zealand, when Paul said he noticed his right-sided limp was getting worse. Limping is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, due to the muscles becoming stiff and inflexible, as well as involuntary shaking (tremors) of parts of the body and slow movement.

“Nonetheless my reaction was not one of shock,” he went on. “I spent May this year in New Zealand simultaneously having the comedy month of my life, and worrying about why a right-sided limp was now getting worse. Behind the facade of the cheerful, late night comedy festival drunk was a man deeply scared about facing the truth when back in the UK.”

While Paul said at the time things had been “really, really tough”, with the British comedian having to pull out of several engagements including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the World Quizzing Championships, he revealed he has a treatment plan in place. He also assured fans that he “fully intends to keep Chasing” however he joked that taking part in reality show Dancing on Ice, where celebrities learn how to figure skate, is probably out of the question for him now.

“I have an amazing family, no strangers to serious medical illness, I’m blessed to have a fiance who is there for me, and I have a multitude of friends and colleagues whom I consider to be exceptional human beings,” he added. “I don’t consider myself unlucky, and whatever the next stage of my life holds for me, many others have it far worse.”

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Are you a fan of The Chase? Do you know anyone who has battled with Parkinson's? Do you have a message for Paul as he continues his journey with the disease?

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