Dynamics with Family and Friends

It’s important to recognize that while dealing with your own diagnosis of MS can be very difficult, it can also be hard on your family. Their coping strategies may not always be the same as yours.

Open communication and understanding can help bridge some of the misunderstandings or difficulties that may arise. If you find that you’re struggling with your family and/or friends’ reaction to your diagnosis—for instance, if you feel they are being over-protective—try to sit down with them and explain what is bothering you.

In order to reduce the fears, anxiety, and confusion of the people around you, explain exactly what you can (and can’t) do physically—that information will help them relate to you better. Point out that you want to be as independent as possible and would like their help and co-operation. Tell them it is important for you to maintain a level of independence and your self-esteem.

If you find this difficult to do, counseling should be available in your community to help you and your family work through these problems and to learn how to communicate better.

Managing the Emotional and Social Aspects of MS