People with MS experience a whole range of emotions at different times. There will likely be periods of anxiety, fear and uncertainty, as well as anger and frustration which can all lead to feelings of hopelessness, depression and feeling isolated or even abandoned.1
Feeling stressed or being afraid or unsure of the future can be really difficult, especially if it is for a long period of time. These feelings can affect your relationships with family and friends, as well as your work and social activities. All of this affects the quality of your life.
It is possible for people with MS to positively influence their mental wellbeing. People who are able to positively re-evaluate their situation can adjust better than people who can’t re-evaluate.1 When people with MS give themselves permission to believe that they will be OK, and learn to adapt to their changing lives, they often find that things improve:2
- They’re able to maintain satisfying relationships, find meaning and hope in their lives and manage their disease
- They often develop increased personal strength, spiritual change and greater appreciation of life.
Listen to Jemma share how she has changed her perspective since being diagnosed with MS.
You can learn ways to calm and focus yourself and to quieten your emotions. By thinking things through it is possible to respond with insight and thoughtfulness rather than impulsivity.2 Speaking with a psychologist or mental health professional can also be a great way to learn how to manage your emotions.
There are some great online mindfulness tools that can help in stressful and emotional situations, teaching you to experience emotions without judgement or anxiety
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- Soundy A, et al. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 2017;4:22-47.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Resilience: Addressing the challenges of MS. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Documents/NAEP2016_Resilience_final.pdf (date of last update not specified).