Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause concern about your health and future. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that damages the central nervous system and can cause unpredictable — and sometimes disabling — symptoms.
Coping with this life-changing diagnosis takes time as you process the grief, adjust expectations, and develop a management plan. Implementing positive coping strategies can help you move forward with your diagnosis while caring for your emotional well-being.
It’s Okay to Take Time
First, remember that it’s okay to take time to take in the new information. Allow yourself the time and space to fully understand the significant life adjustments MS often may bring. The range of emotions you experience can include anger, fear, profound sadness, and grief. These are all normal reactions.
Don’t bottle up your feelings. Instead, find constructive outlets like joining an MS support group, where you can share your story and find support from others experiencing similar circumstances. Working through the emotional process on your own timeline is crucial before you can shift focus to effective symptom management.
Communicate Openly with Your Healthcare Team
Keep your doctors, nurses, and therapists fully informed about all symptoms you’re experiencing so your treatment plan can be tailored accordingly. MS presents differently in each patient, so tracking your symptoms can provide valuable insight into disease progression and which treatments are working.
Some symptoms you should track include:
- Fatigue levels
- Gait issues
- Cognitive issues
Don’t downplay any concerns. Instead, communicate clearly to ensure you get the support you need.
Seek out Support Systems
Having a compassionate support system can make coping with the realities of MS much less intimidating. Surround yourself with understanding family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors who encourage you to openly share your feelings. Join in-person or online MS support groups so you can find community.
Consider working with a therapist or counselor who can help you process your emotions. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone, and a support system can provide strength even on the most difficult days.
Get Educated About Your Options
Learning everything you can about MS equips you to make informed decisions about your care. Research the various emerging treatment approaches and symptom management strategies, such as regenerative medicine. Look into diet and lifestyle adjustments that can make a difference.
With the Right Coping Strategies, You Can Live With MS
Coping with an MS diagnosis means reevaluating your priorities and recognizing your limitations. But it also means acknowledging your abilities and proactively protecting your health through lifestyle modifications.
Adjusting to the “new normal” of life with MS does take time. But support, education, and personalized care can help you continue to live life to the fullest.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.