Michael J. Fox Opens Up About How Living with Parkinson's Disease Affects His Mental Health

"Positivity is really sincere and I really feel it, and it's genuine, but it's hard fought, and it's hard won," Fox said on 'CBS Mornings'

<p>Jason Kempin/Getty</p> Michael J. Fox

Jason Kempin/Getty

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox is sharing how living with Parkinson's disease impacts his mental health.

On Thursday, the actor, 62, was interviewed on CBS Mornings where he spoke about how living with Parkinson's has impacted his life since he was diagnosed with the disease in 1991.

CBS Mornings co-host Nate Burleson asked Fox if his diagnosis ever leads to feelings of depression or doubt, to which the actor replied, "Yesterday at 3:57 in the afternoon."

Fox continued, "Positivity is really sincere and I really feel it, and it's genuine, but it's hard fought, and it's hard won."

For Fox, the key is finding ways "to just give ourselves a break" and "give ourselves credit for getting through life on life's terms." He added, "In order to do that, we have to stop and say, 'it's not that bad.'"

In 2000, Fox created the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds research for the development of therapies for those living with Parkinson’s. He explained to Burleson that his goal was to give a voice to the voiceless.

"They didn't have money, they didn't have a voice, and I thought, I could step in for these people and raise some hell," Fox said.

He continued, "It's not a cure. But it's a big spotlight on where we need to go, and what we need to focus on so we know we're on the right path, and we're very proud."

Related: Michael J. Fox Would Have 'Forgiven' Tracy Pollan for Opting to 'Step Out' of Marriage After Parkinson's Diagnosis

<p>Mike Coppola/Getty</p> Michael J. Fox in 2022

Mike Coppola/Getty

Michael J. Fox in 2022

During the interview, Fox also touched upon how his relationship with his wife, Tracy Pollan, and how she has supported him every step of the way. Although his wife, 63, has never left his side, Fox explained that he would have understood if she did.

"She had indicated to me by saying, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health," he explained. "She was able to get me through it, and go through it with me. And she has for 35 years."

"We knew the bus was coming and we knew it was going to hit, but we didn't know how far away it was or how fast it was going,” Fox said. "At any time she would have been forgiven to say, 'I'm just gonna step out.' But, she didn't do that.”

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Related: Michael J. Fox Supported by His Family as He's Honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

In his recent cover story for Town & Country, the Back to the Future star said he’s remained optimistic about his own health over the years.

He added that not only did he have a spinal surgery that could’ve left him paralyzed, but he’s also had several falls that caused him to break both arms, break his hand, smash his orbital bone and cheek, and more. “It was a tsunami of misfortune,” he said.

However, the actor refers to himself as a “tough son of a bitch” and said he isn’t afraid of his disease — or even death.

“One day I’ll run out of gas,” Fox said. “One day I’ll just say, ‘It’s not going to happen. I’m not going out today.’ If that comes, I’ll allow myself that. I’m 62 years old. Certainly, if I were to pass away tomorrow, it would be premature, but it wouldn’t be unheard of. And so, no, I don’t fear that.”

“I’ve said Parkinson’s is a gift,” he also told Town & Country. “It’s the gift that keeps on taking, but it has changed my life in so many positive ways.”

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