How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask DrFee Your Own Question
DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  20+ years of counseling experience, Wife & Mother
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
DrFee is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am 65 years old and have an essential tremor.

This answer was rated:

I am 65 years old and have an essential tremor. I conducted research on Mayo Clinic’s website and got a pretty good basic idea what essential tremor is. See:

In my case, I cannot write, I can only type slowly, but cannot hold a cup of coffee in a steady manner, and cannot eat without my hands shaking because of the essential tremor.

I am a widower and about to date few a women in the near future, one at a time-this is the good news.
The bad news is about my anxiety because of the essential tremor, which based on my past experience appeared to turn off the women whom I dated.

The essential tremor in my case was noticed immediately and the first question posed to me by my dates was: Are you nervous because of our first meeting?, to which I answered –not at all, which was true, but the first impression sent to my dates was nevertheless negative, at least based on my belief.

More knowledgeable women asked me whether I have a Parkinson Disease. My answer was no based on few medical experts’ observation.

In the past, my explanation was that the tremor was caused by certain medications, which was taking and my answer as true. However, the women wanted to know what medication I am taking and why?

My next date is on Sunday October 21 2012 at 3 pm. Until then, I will try to find out how to reduce the tremor not medically but cognitively.

My question is how to explain to m,y date why my hands are shaking and how to change the topic of our conversation fast.

I was thinking about the following options

1. To deliver a subliminal message to my date at the first moment to let her understand that tremor will happen. For example: Ask her you nervous because this is our first meeting? If she ask me the same question I will say not at all, it may appears to be so but it s not. Let’s start chatting about body language which is associated with impressions about joy in life and later will explain to you why people may get the wrong impression because of certain body movement which apples to me.
2. I will try to avoid eating or drinking any think which will cause tremor by giving instructions to the waiter privately.

What do you think?
Hello! Please remember that my responses are informational only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.

The first time I heard of the essential tremor was about 10 years ago, when I had a client come to my office (69 years old) because she had developed significant social anxiety as a result of the essential tremor.

It took her less than 5 minutes to explain the tremor to me. I had never seen it before nor had I heard of it. Of course, I researched it later on the internet.

What I noticed with this woman is that if she did relax, the tremor was minimal and when she was anxious it was a lot worse. So, even though anxiety does not cause the tremor, it helps to work on learning how to lower your anxiety as much as possible.

I understand that you would like to minimize the focus on your tremor and have the conversation focus on something else. I know that makes sense, particularly for a first date, when anxiety tends to be higher anyway.

However, I do have concerns that your attempt to send a "subliminal message," might confuse your date. She might think, "why would he ask if I am nervous if he is not?" Or, she may start to get self conscious, "Does he think I'm nervous? Do I look nervous?" etc.

If she is a bit more sophisticated, she might think you are "projecting," if you ask the question of her and then deny that you have any anxiety. Projection means when we put onto someone else feelings that we actually have ourselves. Typically this happens outside of our awareness, but you would sort of be doing it on purpose. If she is at all intuitive, she will at some level know that you are not being honest --so this does not help you at all.

I'm not sure I completely understand #2 --do you mean that you'll avoid drinking and eating things that might make the tremor worse? It might be a very good idea to get a drink with a straw rather than have a china tea cup, for example. Maybe there are things you can order that are easier to manage --that makes sense.

My thought is that you should get really good at explaining the tremor simply and quickly so that you can just be honest and not make a big deal out it. I would think that you would want a woman who is caring, compassionate, and who won't judge you because of something that you didn't cause or can't control.

If you're with a woman who does not have these qualities, are you sure that you want to have more than one quick date with her?

Please feel free to follow up with me.

Dr. Fee
DrFee and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Related Relationship Questions