What Do I Tell People about Having MS?

Your community includes people who are close to you, as well as people you know more casually. Your relatives, friends, teachers, and employers will naturally want to know what has happened to you, especially if you have visible symptoms. They may also want to know what they can do to help.

Who and what to tell about your MS is a personal decision, and one that you might want to take a bit of time to think through and/or discuss with trusted people in your life. You may or may not feel comfortable telling your boss, for instance. Disclosure to other people in your life—friends, acquaintances, people you are dating etc.—is similarly a personal decision that deserves some thought. Some people will respond with understanding, and some may provide you with much-appreciated practical and emotional support. Others may not respond as well. It helps to be prepared for both possibilities.

If you decide to share information about your diagnosis with someone, you can start with a simple explanation of the disease and how it is affecting you at this time.

Managing the Emotional and Social Aspects of MS