Living with MS

Living with a long term condition, especially one with unpredictable symptoms, can take its toll emotionally.

But you're not alone. Help is out there if you need it, whether from others in the same situation as you, or trained professionals.

Getting diagnosed with MS is different for everyone.

Doctors might have already talked about MS as a possible explanation for symptoms, but it might equally have been a ‘bolt from the blue’.

Man giving an MS Society publication to a woman

Each family member and close friend may react differently. For example, the person with MS might feel relief, while their partner is in denial.

Find out more about coping with diagnosis

Grieving for your old, carefree life, or the plans you had in the future, is a normal process of adjustment to a different life.

But MS isn't the end of everything.

Woman with MS sitting on stool at home

Guilt is also a normal reaction, often because people feel they've put an extra burden on their family.

Family members may also blame someone with MS for the difficulties MS has created.

Telling people that you have MS can be a very difficult thing to do. Accepting the diagnosis yourself is hard, let alone having to break the news to others.

Two male friends talking about a recent diagnosis of MS

Telling family - whether your parents, your partner or your children - comes with it's own set of challenges.

The MS Helpline is there for anyone affected by MS.

They take 13,000 calls every year, on any MS-related topic.

There are also practical techniques that can make a real difference to the way you feel.

An MS Society support group meeting in Coleraine, Northern Ireland

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