Ozzy Osbourne made his mark on the music world as the lead singer of Black Sabbath, not to mention the 12 solo studio albums he released after being booted from the band. Yet it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the public got more intimately acquainted with the heavy metal rocker when he starred on the reality TV show The Osbournes alongside his wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, and two of the couple’s three children. Sadly, in 2003—at the height of the show’s popularity—the singer was privately diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a fact he wouldn’t share with the public until over 15 years later. Now, Sharon is coming forward with a heartbreaking update on her husband’s condition, and opening up about how the famous couple is coping.
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Appearing next to his wife, the metal musician went public with his Parkinson’s diagnosis in Jan. 2020 in an interview with Good Morning America. “There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s; it’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s—it’s like you have a good day, and then a really bad day,” Sharon explained.
The couple revealed that although the singer’s case of Parkinson’s was considered “mild,” he struggled with a range of motor and non-motor symptoms. “You think you’re lifting your feet, but your foot doesn’t move. I feel like I’m walking around in lead boots,” Ozzy said of his worsening gait. “It’s been terribly challenging for us all,” he added.
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In addition to contending with difficulty walking and other common Parkinson’s symptoms, Ozzy has said he also struggles with depression relating to his condition.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, roughly half of PD patients experience some form of depression, and 40 percent experience anxiety. “While everyone feels sad from time to time—and while people with PD may experience grief in reaction to a PD diagnosis—depression is different,” the organization explains. “Unlike sadness, which is temporary, depression can last for weeks or longer. Depression is a part of Parkinson’s itself, resulting from PD-related changes in brain chemistry. Parkinson’s impacts areas of the brain that produce dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin—chemicals involved in regulating mood, energy, motivation, appetite and sleep.”
Ozzy shared that emotionally, he had “reached a plateau,” where “nothing really felt great.” Doctors prescribed him antidepressants to help him cope with his mental health challenges. “You learn to live in the moment,” the singer told GMA. “You don’t know when you’re gonna wake up and you ain’t gonna be able to get out of bed. But you just don’t think about it.”
Speaking with The Guardian, Ozzy revealed that his his nerve pain “got so bad that at one point I thought: ‘Oh God, please don’t let me wake up tomorrow morning.'” Yet throughout his ongoing Parkinson’s fight, the singer says he has leaned on his family for support—especially his wife. “Without my Sharon, I’d be gone,'” he told the outlet, adding an expletive. “We have a little row now and then, but otherwise we just get on with it.”
“He’s a pain in the butt,” the Emmy-award winning TV host and producer said of her husband in a separate 2022 interview, but added that she’s glad to be there through “everything from heartbreaking to soul-destroying to the joys of his getting better.”
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Once again, Sharon has opened up about her husband’s health condition for the new ITV documentary Paxman: Putting Up with Parkinson’s. “Suddenly, your life just stops… Life as you knew it,” she said, recalling the moment she learned of her husband’s diagnosis. “When I look at my husband, my heart breaks for him,” she added. “I’m sad for myself to see him that way, but what he goes through is worse. And sometimes when I look at him and he doesn’t know I’m looking at him, I’m crying.”
However, The Talk host says there are some ways in which her husband’s devastating diagnosis has changed their lives for the better. “The positive thing is with the family we spend so much more time together and I just love my husband more than I did three years ago.”