Foreword by Dr. Jack Burks, MSAA Chief Medical Officer

Depression is a common and disabling symptom of MS. It is a critical issue for MS patients, and is often overlooked by the patient, family, and healthcare providers. The information presented in this booklet is designed to increase awareness and understanding of depression in MS.

Anyone can experience depression at any time. For individuals with MS, depression is not only a symptom, but it can possibly be a silent signal of worsening disease, a side effect from medication, or another medical condition (such as a bladder infection) that is present but unrecognized. Additionally, suicide is a serious risk for extremely depressed MS patients.

The warning signs can point to a diagnosis, and all those who spend time with an individual at risk should be aware of these sometimes subtle indications. The author of this booklet has outlined an effective protocol to increase the chances of early diagnosis and effective treatment, which may well lead to a better quality of life. Valuable tips for fighting the effects of depression have been highlighted throughout the pages of this booklet.

The combination of understanding the situation surrounding depression, taking advantage of the medical treatments available, and recognizing the important role of counseling, can often result in the successful management of this disabling symptom. This booklet is an invaluable resource for all those affected by depression in the MS population and their care partners.

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