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  • MS_Navigators
    Does uncertainty about your future keep you awake at night? Does anxiety about moving safely stop you from participating in activities you enjoy? Do you ever feel unsettled and irritable? Do you worry about how MS may be impacting family and friends? Do you just not feel like your typical self?    
     
    If you live with MS, you are twice as likely to experience anxiety and mood disorders. In fact, up to 60% of people with MS experience low mood or depression, and up to 40% experience anxiety. Share your experiences, questions and tips for managing anxiety below – and join psychologist Meghan Beier, Ph.D., and physical therapist Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT, for an honest interactive conversation about recognition of mood changes and ways to manage mood with physical activity (register here).
     
  • maria1
    Mood changes reminds me of the pantomime where a guy moves a hand over his face and each turn brings on a different mood, happy, sad, angry, confused etc. Learning to choose a mood makes us responsible and in control. I choose to be happy, I have grown with enough misery in my life to know that things always go wrong, the body always does something different and worry is truly a misuse of imagination.

    Often we come here and unburden ourselves of all the tasks that pile up, the problems with out solutions and the frustrations of coping with ms. We have all been raised with success as our goal in life and every dilemma is a stigma an overwhelming challenge that paralyses us into immobility. Freeze, the car doesnt work, freeze, supper is burnt. We are all poised with everything working as ordered and are surprised when something breaks down. We are living with expectations, we expect everything to go right, we expect everything to be okay, we expect good news, we expect terrible news we expect everything to go wrong. We have illusions of the future that are haunting us.

    Expecting nothing is less disappointing. Going to sleep tonight without any expectation of how we will feel or be tomorrow will save disappointment.

    Yesterday I went to check the basement, havent been there since last week when the handyman came to check the cause of the flood. The a/c drain was clogged. So, yesterday again water was washing the floor, and i hear a constant hum, the motor on the well isnt shutting off. Pissed me off and i could not deal with it, just put in my mind, and hoped I would remember it. I woke this morning to a terrible storm and a drip drip drip in the bedroom. Bolted out of bed, turned on the light and saw a drip drip drip from  the moulding on the closed. Grabbed a towel to catch the water from soaking the carpet. Took us about eight years to figure out that the local stones used to build the fireplace are porous, when it storms, drip drip drip all the way to the basement. We thought we solved the problem with some waterproofing, duh. The guy will be here in the morning for the water pump, two other water problems to deal with.

    Choosing to feel good about myself is more important, choosing to do what makes me feel good about myself is important. There are things in my life that i have no control over. having no control over something simply means that i am not responsible for it. Being able to choose between the two is relevant. How I greet my day is all I have control over.

    Feeling physically awful is the agenda for the summer. it is something I have almost no control over, the heat and humidity is a gravity pulling me down. I use to think it was me, that i was getting worse or dying soon, it was just summer. Took me a couple of summers with 100+ days of do nothing then all of a sudden it is autumn and i am outside playing.

    Excuses excuses excuses, uncertainty, anxiety, unsettled, irritable. worry, all excuses for not getting on with living. Instead of being afraid of falling off a horse, which everyone who ever gets on a horse does, I got on a horse BECAUSE I wanted to know what that felt like.

    Since physical activity is becoming less and less an ability for me, choosing my mood is the only option I have. Even with the water issues that I could not deal with yesterday, I let them wait, I got on with the day and left it, I knew they would not go away, and I refused to treat them as emergencies.

    Emergencies, what in life is truly an emergency, do we always overreact to change, are we so stuck in our habits that any thing abby normal we panic and freak out.

    Anxiety is not necessarily attached to ms. I know someone who does not have ms and everything in her life makes her anxious. I avoid her like the plague. Anxiety, like fear is an attitude we choose. We can also choose not to be anxious. The car WILL someday, break down., no need to be anxious about, think of a plan for when it does happen so there will be no surprise, or panic.  Safety is an illusion, being afraid about not moving safely so you stay home doing nothing and the ceiling falls in on you.

    That this discussion is labeled anxiety and ms is in my opinion a poor association. Anxiety is a state unto itself, it has nothing to do with ms, it is our attitude training that has been taught us, and some of us have learned it very well. If you do not have anxiety with ms, if you are comfortable without carrying anxiety with you please check in and make your voice heard.

    Anxiety is not a normal reaction to living with ms, it is a burden one CHOOSES to carry along with ms. Also in my opinion, a waste of energy, and a misuse of imagination, but NOT a symptom of ms, NOT  a condition of ms. it is just a bad habit.

     
  • tracy-short
    Wow you told someone a few days ago that you lost the use of your arms and legs already. I know that guy and I assure you he can't "bolt off to the basement and wash the floor" no matter what was going on down there!!! Which is it able to wash floors and bolt downstairs or useless arms and legs? Try to keep your story consistent at least!
  • tracy-short
    ANXIETY IS NOT A CHOICE and saying so shows how uninformed you are. Why would they need a webinar if these weren't real ailments? You judge anyone who doesn't handle life your way and deny the validity of symptoms that are caused by disease activity. That is DEMEANING!
  • leahunderwood
    Your opinion on this topic is incredibly closed minded and ignorant. I've had anxiety my entire life. Panic attacks in large groups etc. When I got diagnosed with MS, it came with my inability to hold my bladder. With that condition my anxiety heightened whenever I was in public and unsure if I was near a restroom. Anxiety is chemical imbalance in your brain, not an emotion or reaction like fear. Anxiety is not a choice, but the way we handle it is. Even though I have new anxieties with my limited mobility, I don't let it keep me in my house, I do everything I can to not let it hold me back and I have a supportive family who are not only very informed on MS symptoms but Anxiety as well and how it affects my life so I can live a kick ass life despite of it. Please do more research before spreading this terrible misinformation. 
  • leahunderwood
    Your opinion on this topic is incredibly closed minded and ignorant. I've had anxiety my entire life. Panic attacks in large groups etc. When I got diagnosed with MS, it came with my inability to hold my bladder. With that condition my anxiety heightened whenever I was in public and unsure if I was near a restroom. Anxiety is chemical imbalance in your brain, not an emotion or reaction like fear. Anxiety is not a choice, but the way we handle it is. Even though I have new anxieties with my limited mobility, I don't let it keep me in my house, I do everything I can to not let it hold me back and I have a supportive family who are not only very informed on MS symptoms but Anxiety as well and how it affects my life so I can live a kick ass life despite of it. Please do more research before spreading this terrible misinformation. 
  • marshina
    Hi. This is in response to "Ole hippy Maria, from marshina, who was finally published in the last "Momentum."
     I, too, had growing anxiety after twenty years of living with MS. My mind would be consumed with all the what ifs. My neurologist put me on Zoloft and it was like a miracle. My spastic bladder got under control, normal walking fears also subsided After another decade, I started falling all the time. I was now fully in secondary progressive stage. I could walk just a bit, so I understand Maria being able to get to her basement one month and not another. 
    However, the Zoloft I had now read had a side effect of falling. I also had developed severe arthritis of my knees. At any time my legs would lock and down I went. I had also over the decade of taking Zoloft  gained 15 lbs on my small frame. In order to relieve some arthritc pain of my knees i went off the Zoloft. What doctors don't tell us, is the withdrawal is terrible. For three weeks, I felt like a junkie as my body literally sweated off 15 pounds. Once I was over the hump, the anxiety and crying jags started. I've read most go back on the drug, I did not. I work daily on keeping a positive attitude, do as much as I can that riding a scooter allows me, and I must admit, my life is fuller than many, who are baby boomers, now turning 70. 
    WE all suffer differently and I feel what is most helpful is just reading what many have to say and try to take the best from it. 
    The medical world is who we should be annoyed with. Asking for more money just so more band-aid drugs for relapsing remitting can be developed, while they throw out stem cells for us secondary progressive is not only insulting but a complete lie. Read up on what one must do to maybe have a 70% sucess. After all these years, they still are clueless to repairing myelin.
    In closing, I think Maria and I are just trying to say be patient with yourself and try to live the best life you can.
  • jennifer_m
    I do feel anxious, especially now.  My husband and I want to have a family and get out of our apartment, on top of paying off student loans.  I'm worried that I won't be able to work for 20 years and build a retirement fund to enjoy.  I used to be more adventurous, more lively, but my moods are just out of whack sometimes.
    I give thanks every day that my husband is such an understanding soul.  He hates to see me sad so he makes jokes, tickles me, gives me hugs, anything to make me smile.  Prayer has been a great source of strength, relying on God and trusting Him to guide my steps as to what I should do with my treatment.  Also, I'm slowily learning how to put the world on hold when I need to take 10 for my own good.
  • Bjulia
    Hi Jennifer;

    I read your post and wanted to tell you that I am so sorry for what you are going through. Thank God you have a supportive husband..I don't know what I would do without my fiancĂ©. Prayer has been such a great source of strength for me too. I give all of my symptoms over to God & pray for healing everyday. When I pray, I will pray for you too. Take care..Bea 
  • mamaGof3
    I began to experience the mood swings and the general ornery attitude around 7 years after Dx.  It's really hard to figure out if it has to do with MS, life stresses like money, or the fact that I have 3 little ones at home.  I started seeing a therapist before I had children, and along with her guidance and meditation, I was able to keep it in check for at least 2 years.  When my condition worsened a bit, I found myself less active and overall snippy.  My doctor recommended Zoloft, which has really helped along with talk therapy.  I still feel the anxiety and explosion creeping in occasionally, but with the right tools I can control it better.
  • squareroot

    I would relate heightened anxiety to MS for sure. 

    I was generally a slightly anxious person, but during the exaserbation that led to my diagnosis I experienced something beyond my regular anxiety.  I lost any sense of direction when driving and would call someone crying and sitting on the side of the road feeling helpless.  There was no way to control this difficult level of anxiety.  Other little things would get me really worked up and feel a loss of control. So my doc put me on Zoloft and I was able to come down enough to figure things out... the MS diagnosis. (Note: I have no kids and I have healthy parents, life is good, so I can't relate any of that to increased anxiety.)

  • Dawnieness
    Anxiety is out of control during this month for me.  In addition to it just being an overall awful year (my brother passed little over a month after a battle with cancer), and my general MS symptoms, it's now also very hot and very humid so I can't leave my apartment.  

    Hiding huddled in my closet (it's a large closet so I'm not THAT huddled) has become my day.  This is the first time that I've been on my computer in weeks.  I panic when my phone rings, I panic when there's noise in the neighborhood (just normal normal noises like traffic), I panic when I have to pretend to be feeling normal even though I feel like I'm in the middle of a heart attack.  Before MS, I would have gone out, gone for a walk, or done something active to work out this stress but it's August and it's hot so I can't go outside.  I've always had anxiety but since MS it's gone from a gremlin sized nuisance to a Godzilla sized nightmare.
  • gabek
    • I rarely had mood swings or anxiety prior to MS. MS surely has an affect and it is quite noticiable by my family. 
  • Mystos
    I am a UPS driver and have had injury after injury over the last two years. Want to talk about anxiety, my boss is constantly asking if I can do my job. He is looking for a reason to give me my walking papers. Yesterday he had to bring me a fuel card because the one he gave me wasn't working. He mad a few degrading comments how other drivers are faster. I replied with "Whatever, I'm on my lunch" and he left. So am I having some serious anxiety about going to work today? Hell Yea lol! I worry about my wife and daughter, can I stick it out just long enough to keep our medical? Is it that I'm being over worked and pushed beyond my abilities or is the MS taking hold? My wife has been my rock and I hers. As far as mood swings, I go from hot to cold at the drop of a hat. Since being put on Viibryd I am a bit more calm. 
    Thanks 
  • team-verb
    Mystos - Ive been through the rigmaroles of employment challenges and had similar concerns. I want to share with you what it was that I did back then that led me to a finacially stable place today... Okay so here it is.... Document document document and if you have not already begin educating yourself on your rights as an employee because believe me, you have them... what your boss and so many of our bosses did and/or is doing by not supporting your successful employeeship is illegal and if you are a person who finds themselves in that crappy situation then please document everything you can now and for the rest of your life as an employee so that if the time ever comes that God forbid you are let go unfairly you will be able to fight it... if that doesn't feel like a fit for you then get the heck out of that workplace, man!
  • oz
    I found out too late abut this to attend the seminar but thought this article might be of interest to some.  http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37166293
  • ctpullara
    Thanks for recommending this article. It was interesting the connection between depression and the immune system. It was new to me. Hope there's more studies on this.
  • Mystos
    I am a UPS driver and have had injury after injury over the last two years. Want to talk about anxiety, my boss is constantly asking if I can do my job. He is looking for a reason to give me my walking papers. Yesterday he had to bring me a fuel card because the one he gave me wasn't working. He made a few degrading comments how other drivers are faster. I replied with "Whatever, I'm on my lunch" and he left. So am I having some serious anxiety about going to work today? Hell Yea lol! I worry about my wife and daughter, can I stick it out just long enough to keep our medical? Is it that I'm being over worked and pushed beyond my abilities or is the MS taking hold? My wife has been my rock and I hers. As far as mood swings, I go from hot to cold at the drop of a hat. Since being put on Viibryd I am a bit more calm. 
    Thanks 
  • maria1
    Is there a difference between fear and anxiety? A preoccupation with doom? Some religions teach that suffering is holy, and persons who suffer are holy. What is holy? Good? When a person abuses onesself is it not a curiosity, those who cut themselves repeatedly, are they too holy? Or is it that one is holy only when someone else abuses them? Are you a member of a religion who teaches that suffering is holy, and are you suffering with anxiety? 

    When I state that anxiety is a choice, I do not say that it is a conscious state of mind. It is a circumstance that has been fostered by external events and individuals. It is an inbred way of thinking, handed down from generations. 

    Do you believe in the turning of the cheek, when someone slaps your face? Do you believe you have a right to life, and a right to a quality of life better than being in the gutter? Are you a person who, because you are alive, have a right to pursue happiness? Or must you suffer for every moment you exist? 

    Slavery comes in different colors. There are different ways to control people besides a whip or a gun.  And most of the time, we do not have the luxury to look at our lives and the way we live them, and we do not have the time to think about what we want to change, life happens and we keep moving on. Yet, when given choices, we usually choose to want to be happy, except in those instances where we have been indoctrinated into thinking that worry is the way to solve problems. Problem solving is not achieved through worry. Emotion blocks our ability to think. If our feelings are always programmed for the worst, the only thing that will happen is the worst, like a self fulfilling prophecy, and we will not be able to see the best that is in front of us.