The Impact of Multiple Sclerosis on Emotions and Quality of Life | MyMSTeam

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The Impact of Multiple Sclerosis on Emotions and Quality of Life

Medically reviewed by Manuel Penton, M.D.
Written by Beth Schneider
Updated on February 1, 2024

The emotional toll of living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can have a major impact on your quality of life. Depression and anxiety are both common among people with MS.

Depression impacts as many as half of people living with MS, which is three times the rate of depression in the general population. A study of approximately 265,000 Canadians found that anxiety disorder was 58 percent more prevalent among people with MS compared to people without MS.

Depression is one of the top causes of decreased quality of life with MS, according to a 2019 study published in Brain and Behavior.

Depression impacts as many as half of people living with MS, which is three times the rate of depression in the general population.

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Depression and anxiety with MS may be caused by an initial diagnosis, disease progression, the unpredictability of symptoms, and fears about the future. Both mood disorders can also be the result of MS-related neurological changes.

MyMSTeam Members on MS, Emotions, and Quality of Life

MyMSTeam conducted a survey in March 2020 to better understand how MS affects members’ emotions and quality of life. The survey included 928 individuals in the United States who are living with multiple sclerosis.

MyMSTeam asked members about:

  • The physical, social, and emotional impact that MS has on their lives
  • The steps they take to lessen the impact of MS

MyMSTeam shares the results of our member surveys so our community can learn, collectively, from each other’s experiences.

The majority of MyMSTeam members surveyed indicated they feel stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of isolation.

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MyMSTeam members shared some of the difficult emotions they encounter as a result of MS. When asked how much they agree or disagree with having a series of experiences, the majority indicated they feel stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of isolation living with MS.

MyMSTeam members also shared other ways MS has impacted their quality of life. The top challenges members reported include the impact of MS on cognitive skills and overall quality of life, as well as physical challenges, such as performing everyday chores and exercising.

Living with MS may mean you face unexpected changes to your quality of life, and it can take time to determine which symptoms may be related to MS and which aren’t. Having an awareness of the condition’s impact on your overall health is important. Talk to your neurologist if you begin noticing any new symptoms, including an effect on your mental health.

Connect With Others With MS

By joining MyMSTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with multiple sclerosis, you gain a support group of more than 207,000 members. Dealing with MS symptoms is one of the most-discussed topics.

How much of an impact does MS have on your emotions or daily life? Have you found ways to improve your mood? What do you recommend to others who might be struggling with the impact of MS? Share your thoughts in a comment below or on your Activities page.

Updated on February 1, 2024
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Manuel Penton, M.D. is a medical editor at MyHealthTeam. Learn more about him here.
Beth Schneider has been a market research professional for over 35 years. She focuses on both survey research and social listening analysis. Learn more about her here.

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