Dealing with an MS Diagnosis
There's no right or wrong way to react after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — everyone responds in their own natural way.
It might reassure you to know that many people with MS have been able to successfully manage their symptoms. With the right support system, information, and treatment, you may be able to manage your MS successfully, too.
Take Control Early
While it takes time to deal with your initial thoughts and feelings, the first and most important thing you should address is treatment.
With MS, it's crucial to start treatment as soon as you're diagnosed. Starting early gives you a better chance at reducing the number of relapses you have — therefore slowing down the progression of future disability.
The goal is to interrupt the natural course of MS — rather than have it interrupt your life.
Honoring Your Feelings
In order to come to terms with your multiple sclerosis diagnosis, it's important to be true to your feelings. Whether you feel sad, afraid, anxious, angry, or even ashamed, be confident that whatever you're feeling is natural.
Your feelings may change over time, so it's important to give yourself time to adjust. It's also important to remember to be fair to yourself — getting MS is not your fault, and there's nothing you could have done to prevent it.
Maintaining Your Active Lifestyle
Although a multiple sclerosis diagnosis can have a major impact on your life, it doesn't have to mean the end of living well. Try to continue doing the things you enjoy — you may find that staying active helps keep you positive and focused. And you may actually discover that you can continue living in much the same way you always have, whether it's taking care of your family, going to work, or just doing your normal, daily activities.
Communicating with Family and Friends About Your MS Diagnosis
It's natural to want to process the news of your MS diagnosis alone. However, it's important not to cut yourself off from the people close to you. The support of your family and friends can make a big difference in how you live with and manage your multiple sclerosis.
Living with MS can be challenging, even stressful. And the people in your life can often tell when you are experiencing stress. Talking to your spouse, family, other loved ones, or a peer mentor can make each of you feel better.