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MS & Depression

By Daryl H. Bryant (418 words)
Posted in Living with MS on November 14, 2017

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MS & Depression

Like MS, depression is a very real disease that dramatically affects the lives of those who suffer from it. Half of all people with MS will experience a depressive episode at some point in their lives, and a new study found that almost 40% of people diagnosed with MS experienced depression within a year of diagnosis. It can’t be denied that MS & depression are linked, but there are things you can do to be proactive about your mental health. Read on to learn how to combat MS & depression.

Be Informed To Combat MS & Depression

One of your greatest tools in the fight against any disease is knowledge. Take some time to learn how to recognize depression. Oftentimes, it creeps up on people making them feel helpless and alone. When you feel that way, you are less likely to seek out treatment or support, assuming that you don’t need help or aren’t worthy of it. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America has put together a booklet on MS & depression to help increase awareness. It’s a great place to start if you want to gain an understanding of how these two diseases exist together.

Try to Stay Positive To Fight MS & Depression

Your mindset plays a big role in your health, and keeping an optimistic outlook is crucial - though certainly not easy. As you navigate your MS symptoms, try to stay positive even when it is difficult. Take time to enjoy the things you love about life and remember that even the bad days only have 24 hours. Surround yourself with people who uplift you rather than bring you down. It may be helpful to ask a friend or close loved one to keep an eye on your mental health. If they think you might be depressed, seek treatment.

Ask for Help When You Need It

One of the biggest challenges people living with MS face is guilt over asking for help. You will experience limitations because of your disease, and you will need help. Accepting your limitations and accepting help from your support network is crucial to your mental health. Learn when to ask for help, and then do it without guilt. The people who care about you want to help you so let them.

If you think you are suffering from depression, talk to your doctor. There’s no shame in asking for help. Depression is just another possible symptom of living with MS.

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