The emotional effects of MS often go undiagnosed. This doesn't mean there aren't ways to manage them.
It's not unusual to experience depression, stress and anxiety when you have MS. Medication, talking therapies and self-help techniques can all make it easier to cope.
Many people may loosely use the word 'depression' to describe short periods of feeling down, but clinical depression is something more severe. Perhaps 50 per cent of people with MS experience this more serious depression at some point.
Depression is often misunderstood, so people affected might not get a diagnosis or treatment.
A variety of factors can contribute to mood, emotional and behavioural changes. They might be due to MS-related nerve damage, a psychological reaction to MS, depression or the side effects of drugs.
Stress is a normal part of life for everyone, but in addition to facing everyday stresses, people with MS have to deal with the unpredictability and pressures the condition itself causes.
Various self-help techniques can help you manage stress and anxiety, as well as help from experts like psychologists.
As well as more common emotional changes that occur in MS, some people with MS may experience changes to their emotions or behaviour that don’t seem to make sense.