Before a diagnosis
If you’ve got unexplained symptoms, it can feel like a long and frustrating process to a diagnosis. You might feel like a hypochondriac, or that you are losing your mind, or making a fuss. This is all normal.
Due to its complexity and variety of symptoms, MS is not easy to diagnose. Find out more on the diagnosis process.
Even when the process runs smoothly, it can take a long time to get to the bottom of what’s causing a complex condition. Different possible causes need to be checked out before a diagnosis is made.
Talk about it with someone who understands
Talking about it with people who are going through something similar can really help. Our chat forum New diagnosis and before a diagnosis can be a useful place to start, and you can call our helpline on 0808 800 8000.
If you want to talk to a professional about how you are feeling, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) can help you find an accredited therapist in the UK - use their Seeking a Therapist search facility online.
Getting help without a diagnosis
You don’t need a ‘label’ to get help. You may feel like you are being dismissed by doctors, or be made to feel that you are wasting their time and resources. If symptoms are affecting you, you are entitled to help from the health and social care profession.
What benefits are there to having an early diagnosis of MS?
You might feel that just knowing for sure is a relief, and means you can get used to having MS. A diagnosis may mean you have access to treatments that provide some relief from relapses or symptoms. If you're diagnosed with a relapsing type of MS you should be offered a disease modifying therapy (DMT) as soon as possible after your diagnosis. Studies show that if you have relapsing MS and start a DMT soon after being diagnosed you could be less likely to see your disability get worse or to have more relapses. Find out more about treatments.
Your rights at work
You might be having difficulties at work because of symptoms that don’t yet have a ‘label.’ Maybe these symptoms affect your attendance, how you do your current job or relationships with colleagues and management.
What benefits might you be entitled to?
Your symptoms and their effects are just as real whether you have a diagnosis or not. Use the benefits checker to see what you may be entitled to.
Talking to your doctor
It can be stressful repeatedly going back to your doctor with unexplained symptoms. To help yourself, make a list of the main questions you want to ask, highlighting two or three of the most important.