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4 Most Common MS Stereotypes And Why They Are Wrong

By Daryl H. Bryant (442 words)
Posted in Living with MS on June 7, 2016

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4 Most Common MS Stereotypes And Why They Are Wrong

Have you ever told someone you have MS, only to have them balk in disbelief because you don’t fit their idea of what MS is? If so, you have encountered an MS stereotype (and it probably wasn’t a pleasant experience).

Share this post with your family and friends to help educate them about MS stereotypes that still persist in our culture. Together, we can educate the people around us so that MS stereotypes can finally disappear. 

People With MS Are Old

The majority of people who are diagnosed with MS are between 20 and 50 years old. That’s not to say, however, that people younger or older cannot be diagnosed with the disease. To anyone who knows about MS, it won’t be surprising that an official MS diagnosis can take a long time for doctors to discover.

By the time most people receive a diagnosis, they have already been experiencing symptoms for years. So not only are people diagnosed with MS usually NOT old, but people suffering from MS symptoms tend to be fairly young compared to other diseases.

People With MS Can’t Walk

Variations of this stereotype include: People with MS are in wheelchairs AND People with MS walk funny. While many people with MS may struggle to walk at times or even all the time, that isn’t the case for the vast majority of people.

Treatments for MS are advancing rapidly, and most people who are diagnosed with MS will not end up in a wheelchair. While they may struggle with pain, especially during flare-ups, most of them will still be able to walk. 

People With MS Won’t Live Long

MS is not a death sentence, but there is currently no cure. People with MS are able to live long, productive, and fulfilling lives thanks to improvements in MS treatments and lifestyle changes. While MS is something that will have to be managed throughout a patient’s life, there is no reason to believe that a person with MS won’t live long.

People With MS Don’t Want To Be Active

Some people may understand that people with MS are likely to still be able to move around, but may assume that they just won’t want to because of pain. This is not true. Many people with MS are incredibly active. While there may be times when a person with MS does not feel up to being active, this varies from person to person and day to day. As a matter of fact, activity can actually help people manage their symptoms.

Did we miss any? Share the MS stereotypes you’ve encountered in the comments below!

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