Awareness of psychological and emotional issues is important for patients suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. Sometimes the issues are directly related to the disease (an actual symptom) and other times they are secondary to the diagnosis, medication, or the symptoms experienced (a reaction or result of the experience). Crying, uncontrollable laughter, euphoria, anxiety, irritability, social isolation, depression, and sexual difficulties, are not uncommon complaints for MS sufferers. This is a side of Multiple Sclerosis most patients prefer not to talk about; though many worry about it regularly.
Recognizing the difference between feeling normal sadness, nervousness or anxiety can be a challenge. The indicators that signal its time to talk with a health care professional are; changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts.
Medications (anti-anxiety or anti-depressants) and counseling (talk therapy) are effective treatment options for improving the quality of life for people affected by psychological or emotional difficulties associated with MS. Self care is another viable option. Self care includes things like spending time with family or friends, exercising or diet improvements; actions that helps to elevate your mood and alleviate negative feelings. It is important to remember though; that suicidal thoughts need immediate attention by a qualified health care provider.
Finding a local support group may help. Speaking with others who share the same struggles helps to minimize feelings of isolation or fear. It is also a great way to learn of new or existing treatments and to make some great new friends who understand better than anybody what you are going through.
You are not alone in this; reach out.