Managing the Emotional and Social Aspects of MS
MS can be difficult to deal with, and the circumstances that surround a diagnosis can make you feel many different emotions: sadness, anxiety, frustration, anger, and uncertainty. This is understandable: a diagnosis of MS for yourself or a loved on can present some losses which you’ll need to grieve. In this sense, such feelings are a part of a healthy (even if difficult) coping strategy.
However, for many people with MS, mood changes are due to more than circumstance. The disease process itself can sometimes cause changes in mood such as depression. It can be difficult to determine the root of depression, however, whether it is due to circumstance, the disease process itself, or both, it is treated in the same way. If you are feeling down, depressed, or hopeless, and have lost pleasure or interest in the things you normally enjoy, see your physician. As well as pharmaceutical treatments there are also options such as counselling which can be very helpful. Your physician can help you decide what might be best for you. Don’t suffer in silence: help is available to you.
Inevitably, MS will affect various aspects of your relationships with the people around you, and your interactions in the world. Your family and friends love you, and they are distressed to know you have this disease. They want you to look after yourself, and they also want to look after you.