I Thought I Had Lost My Smile

Anxiety

By Penelope Conway

Added stress for a person with multiple sclerosis is not ideal. Life is already challenging enough, but the added stress makes everything a gazillion times worse. Anxiety easily sets in. You get less sleep, more headaches, your appetite can be either non-existent or you want to eat everything in your cupboard, everybody gets on your nerves with stupid things like just saying hi to you in the morning, weakness increases, you notice the ringing in your ears more, and pain is through the roof. All the little symptoms you used to just accept are now Continue reading

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You Are Not Alone – Anxiety and Depression in MS

By Doug Ankerman

It is not easy.

Of all symptoms one can experience with multiple sclerosis, I find anxiety and depression to be the most challenging.

For foot drop — I wear an AFO. Heat tolerance — I put on a cooling vest. Balance issues — I use a rollator. But for anxiety and depression, there is no aid. No clunky piece of equipment to help you through. Continue reading

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Resources for Mental and Emotional Wellness

Anxiety and depression are among the most common symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. It can be challenging trying to navigate through life with a disease that affects both your body and your emotions. In this blog, I’d like to share some helpful resources for mental and emotional wellness. I want you to know that if you find yourself battling anxiety and depression, there are resources available to help you manage and improve your mental and emotional wellness.  Continue reading

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Learning About Anxiety

By Stacie Prada

I get anxious, but I never considered I might have anxiety. I’ve heard people talk about how it feels to have panic attacks, and I know I haven’t experienced one. I thought of anxiety as something constant and debilitating. I do yoga, I laugh, I’m active, and I’m productive.  Having a diagnosis of anxiety doesn’t fit in with how I view myself.

But when I research anxiety, I realize that what may not be paralyzing for me could still fall perfectly under the anxiety umbrella.

Anxiety

Grinding teeth, nausea, headaches, problems sleeping Continue reading

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Take the Time to Feed Your Creative Self

By Maria Sammartino

Art has always been a part of my life and who I am. Growing up we didn’t have the luxury of “just watching TV.” My grandparents were both artists and made sure when we were with them, we either had a pen, crayon, paint, knitting needles, or crochet hook in our hands. Thankfully for us, they made sure our hands were always busy and we were creating something.

My grandmother was Continue reading

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Coping with Change

Coping with change is something that every human has had to experience at least once in their lives. Whether expected or unexpected, exciting, or disappointing, change is an inevitable part of living life. Learning to effectively cope with change comes with great benefits that can help improve your quality of life. Coping with change can also help lower your chances of experiencing anxiety and depression while increasing your level of resilience. Here are some helpful ways to increase your ability to cope with change.

Ask yourself, “What am I thinking?”

When changes arise, you might find that your mind automatically jumps to the worst possible outcome of the situation. If you notice this happening to you, slow down and take the time to sit down with yourself. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking?” Then, examine your thoughts to determine how rational they really are. You will find that in most cases, the worst possible outcome of the situation is extremely unlikely to occur.

Be in the Moment

During times of change, looking to the future can be a positive experience when it is done with expectation and positive thoughts. However, it can be a slippery slope when you are looking to the future with excessive worry about worst possible outcomes. It is important to be focused on the present moment, and not allow life changes to pull you towards negative future predictions. If you notice this happening to you, stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, and bring yourself back to the present.

Reach out for Support

As changes arise, there might be moments when you are feeling overwhelmed. It is important to realize that during these moments it might be best to reach out for emotional support. Talking with friends or family or even joining an online support forum can really make a big difference when you are coping with change. MSAA offers a great (and free) online community called My MSAA Community, https://mymsaa.org/msaa-community/my-msaa-community-forum, for individuals with MS, their families, and their care partners. This is a great resource for those who are looking for emotional support, especially during times of change.

Remember friends, we might not be able to control whether changes happen, but we can control how we respond and cope with those changes. You’ve got this!

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The Tsunami

By Chernise Joseph (Zivvy)

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with tsunamis.

I know how that sounds, tsunamis aren’t the friendliest natural phenom to be fascinated by, but I think that’s why they’ve caught my attention like they have.

When I think of change, I think of tsunamis. Consider this: tsunamis are the perfect representation of change, not only because they have the ability to change lives in seconds, but because they’re water. Continue reading

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Slow Change and Sudden Shifts: Zooming Out to Gain Perspective

By Stacie Prada

Slow change can be really tough to handle. Its gradual and persistent nature can disguise itself as normal and stable. Only when it reaches a threshold or shifts might we feel the results.

I’ve been living with multiple sclerosis unknowingly and knowingly for almost thirty years, and in the last 12 years I’ve known lesions in my spinal cord are the root cause of pain and my body malfunctioning. I know my body is damaged from MS, I sense where it’s going, and yet Continue reading

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War is Heck

By Doug Ankerman

You, with multiple sclerosis, fall-in, and listen up! You’ve got a battle to win. It’s time to step up and fight!

As you know stress is your enemy in this war. Your silent, invisible, debilitating nemesis.

Now, stress is Continue reading

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Helpful Ways to Combat Stress

When living with MS, it is super important to learn simple yet helpful ways to combat stress. Effectively managing stress levels can have long-lasting benefits on your body. Practicing relaxation is more than just a desire to be happy or be at peace. Relaxation is meant to bring relief not only to your mind but also to your body. Practicing relaxation techniques is a great way to help you cope with both daily stressors and also MS-related stress. Here are a few ways to combat stress: Continue reading

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