19/09/2019 10:00 BST

The Chase Star Paul Sinha Says He Had 'Breakdown' Shortly After Parkinsons' Diagnosis

Fortunately, the quizzer and stand-up comedian says that going public with his condition helped him get back on track.

The Chase star Paul Sinha has revealed he had a “breakdown” shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s earlier this year.

Paul revealed he had the condition in an emotional blog post he published in June, vowing to “keep Chasing” and “keep writing and performing comedy”.

In a new interview with iNews, Paul spoke about his diagnosis for the first time, revealing he had been “suffering from a frozen shoulder” for more than a year before his diagnosis. 

Matt Crossick - PA Images via Getty Images
Paul Sinha

As well as his career on The Chase, Paul is a qualified GP and stand-up comedian, and while performing a show in New Zealand, grew concerned about a limp he had developed, in addition to his frozen shoulder.

“The next day in a cab I decided to Google the words ‘frozen shoulder’ and ‘Parkinson’s’. And I knew I had Parkinson’s,” he explained.

His condition was confirmed by a doctor two weeks before he went public with having the disease, noting: “Looking back to those two weeks after the diagnosis I think I had a breakdown.”

Paul said that writing the blog about having Parkinson’s allowed him to gain back his “agency”, which he said provided a boost to his mental health.

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Paul with fellow Chasers Jenny Ryan and Anne Hegerty at the NTAs

In his blog post, Paul wrote that he felt “far more prepared for the new challenges ahead” having received his diagnosis, saying: “I have an amazing family, no strangers to serious medical illness, I’m blessed to have a fiancé who is there for me, and I have a multitude of friends and colleagues whom I consider to be exceptional human beings.

“I don’t consider myself unlucky, and whatever the next stage of my life holds for me, many others have it far worse.”

“In the time since my Parkinson’s started I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy, keep quizzing and keep being hopeless at Tasks,” he continued, before adding: “Dancing on Ice is, I suspect, out of the question.”

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.