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Is MS Fatigue Taking an Emotional Toll? Take the Quiz

Updated on March 18, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Amit M. Shelat, D.O.
Article written by
Joan Grossman

Fatigue and unexpected emotional changes are common symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). A chronic condition, MS can cause relapsing or progressive symptoms in the central nervous system. Both fatigue and strong emotions can be caused by inflammatory changes and lesions in the brain, as well as nerve fiber damage.

Complications of MS — like sleep disorders, medication side effects, and depression — can also cause mood swings and emotionally draining fatigue.

How Does Fatigue Cause Emotional Challenges?

Fatigue and heightened emotions can impact quality of life and take a toll on relationships with friends and loved ones. MyMSTeam members frequently discuss their experiences of fatigue and the range of emotions that come with living with a chronic illness:

  • “I am having a particularly hard time with emotions, stress, and fatigue these days. Feeling anxious and frustrated.”
  • “Feeling the fatigue a lot, and emotions are very bad. I always try to keep positive, but it's not always that easy to fight.”
  • “Frustrated with my fatigue. My emotions are all over the place.”

Sometimes the connection between fatigue and difficult emotional states seems clear. But it may not always be obvious how fatigue affects you emotionally.

Take the Quiz

This short quiz was designed to help clarify how MS fatigue affects your emotional state. This is not a clinical quiz. Although it has no diagnostic value, it may provide insight into how fatigue affects you.

If you scored 3 or 4 on any item, fatigue may be taking a toll on your emotional well-being. You may want to discuss the impact of fatigue with your neurologist or other health care provider. They can recommend ways to help manage fatigue.

Communicating With Others About Fatigue

It can be frustrating and isolating when the people around you don’t understand your MS symptoms. It may take time, patience, and different approaches before a loved one or a co-worker really grasps how MS fatigue affects you and understands the ways they can support you.

Read tips and techniques for talking about MS fatigue with family, friends, and colleagues.

Join MyMSTeam for Support

On MyMSTeam, you can join a caring community of more than 160,000 people who share their experiences with MS and the emotional challenges of fatigue. Ask questions, share tips, and find people who understand what you are going through.

How does fatigue affect your emotions? How do fatigue and emotional challenges impact your life? Comment below about your experiences or join MyMSTeam and start a new conversation today.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Amit M. Shelat, D.O. is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Physicians. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Joan Grossman is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and consultant based in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more about her here.

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