Most people living with Multiple Sclerosis can probably tell you the exact day they first learned they have the disease. Managing MS and the accompanying symptoms suddenly becomes a focus of their life. And if you have been recently diagnosed with this disease, Managing Multiple Sclerosis will soon become the focus of your life as well. At least it should. If you don’t quickly get over the shock and begin learning how to cope with the new facts of your life, you can become overwhelmed and depressed in very short order. Don’t let depression overtake your life.  You can manage MS, and your life will go on.  You have the ability to determine the quality of that life.


Knowledge is the first step to managing MS before it manages you


Learn as much as you can about the disease as quickly as feasible.  Knowledge is power.  Thanks to the age of the internet, the resources available to you are endless.  Don’t guess about symptoms or possible cures – research them.  Turn those feelings of anger into determination.  The more you learn, the more you will feel in control of your life and stop feeling like a victim.  Besides the standard national organizations and research foundations, who offer good information, there are support groups, internet forums, charity organizations… the list goes on and on.  The key is to find them.  Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself.  Do something!

For many, a valuable resource is a local support group that meets in person on a regular basis.  Instead of sitting in front of your computer isolated from the rest of the world, go find the company of others with MS.  One of the biggest positive influences you can expose yourself to is the knowledge that you are not alone.  There are over 3 million people worldwide suffering from some form of MS, so you can be sure you are not in this alone.  And the best way to Manage Multiple Sclerosis is to not descend into that downward spiral of self-pity and “why me” questions.  Go discuss your feelings and emotions with others in the same boat you are.  Talk openly and honestly, and listen to people recount their story.  Learn from their successes and failures.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll become comfortable in this environment and how fast you’ll make new friends who understand what you’re going through.


How do you find a local MS support group?


A good place to start in your search for a support group is at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Website.  You can search by city or zip code.  You can find your local chapter as well as events they are sponsoring.  One of the best journeys you’ll make in managing Multiple Sclerosis is the trip to that first meeting or event.  Now get off the computer and go find your local chapter or support group.  Managing MS begins with you!