Helping Your Family and Friends Understand Multiple Sclerosis

Newly Diagnosed: Including Your Family and FriendsMost family and friends will try to be supportive, but at times they might not know what to do. They may need reassurance from you, to find out how you are coping with your new diagnosis and any symptoms you may be experiencing. A few friends or family members may even look at you differently, because they don’t understand how difficult this may be for you. This brings up the fact that many MS symptoms are “invisible,” so while you might be experiencing numbness or extreme fatigue, you will still look the same to those around you.

Having open discussions with family members and friends – when you are ready – can greatly help with their understanding of MS and your feelings. Explain to your family that you are still the same person that you were before the diagnosis. Share with them that you may have good days and bad days – and that you welcome their support through this process. If they can be present for you and simply listen, the experience will be life changing for everyone involved.

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