I remember being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 9 years ago and how hard it was to accept that I had MS. I also learned quickly that I needed to educate myself about MS.
The amount of information a person needs to live their life is a personal choice. For some it’s on a “need-to-know” basis. I felt empowered when I armed myself with information. As I learned more about MS, I found it helpful to speak to my local MS Society chapter for more information. During each visit to the doctor or my neurologist, I discuss the uncertain points and try to shrink down uncertainties to a small and manageable size so I can deal with the emotional impact of MS.
In my particular situation, I have identified the challenges that MS has brought into my life, and I have implemented coping strategies that allow me to feel empowered. Life is full of stress in general and MS has added a nice dose of additional stress to the mix.
To help me manage the emotional impact of having MS, I first identified the major concerns with my disease and implemented ways to help deal with the issue. For example, my cognitive abilities and memory have been affected. I will take a picture of the surrounding areas of where I park my car to help me remember where I parked it. I am constantly trying to acquire and improve coping skills to give me the empowerment I need to stay positive.
If issues are affecting your self-esteem and confidence or causing distress to you, talk to someone. You can attend support groups at your local MS Society chapter, ask MS professionals for advice, or speak to other people who have MS.
-Gabriella Mammone, MS Ambassador and Entrepreneur
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