Patients who suffer from MS and their loved ones have to learn an important skill in order to survive: coping with MS. Coping with multiple sclerosis is absolutely critical if they are to make it from day to day. You may wonder what exactly this skill entails. My response is that coping with MS means making a number of psychological, physical and other adjustments. These adjustments help MS patients and their loved ones to live as productive a life as is possible with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis does not present the exact same way in every patient. Some patients’ symptoms are mild while other patients experience severe symptoms. Additionally, some patients respond well to MS medication while others don’t. Thus, some patients will experience debilitation as a result of MS and will be unable to complete tasks or participate in activities as they previously did. Others will only endure minor changes as a result of multiple sclerosis: this means that they will only have to make small adjustments to their lives.


Ideas for Coping with MS


Patients take various steps with the aim of coping with multiple sclerosis: These steps require changes in their daily routines and in their levels of activity. Some patients find that they often feel fatigued and that, therefore, they cannot take on mentally and physically-exhausting tasks. These patients have to adjust their expectations with respect to the amount of work they can do. They will only get frustrated if they keep on trying to do what they were previously able to do and fail at it. Some patients feel alright much of the time, but develop MS flare ups when they overexert themselves. In order to avoid these flare ups and their characteristic worsening of MS symptoms, these patients should pace themselves. They should recognize what their new levels of stamina are and set their limits accordingly, remembering to take regular breaks from their tasks.

Another aspect of learning to cope with MS entails paying attention to the emotional pressures and stress that accompany the condition. Being diagnosed with MS often brings feelings of vulnerability, fear, anger and depression into the lives of patients and of their loved ones. They need to be able to acknowledge these feelings and to experience them in order to adjust to the necessary changes in their lives. Those who repress these feelings and refuse to acknowledge them are bound to experience the emotional fallout later.