Taking Charge of Your MS

When you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you have two options, to confront the disease passively or actively. If you decide to do so passively, the disease may take control of your life, and your day to day activities may be hampered.

The other option is to take it on actively. But what does that mean? It means you care about your health and knows how to manage your disease, that you get involved in gathering knowledge and self-care, with the goal of achieving the best possible care and quality of life.

Being active about your MS means becoming the protagonist of your own life. No one knows how you feel better than you do, and you should feel empowered to learn the ins and outs of your disease while still leading a full life, with a few adjustments to suit your physical and emotional condition.

Social networks have also helped to empower patients, giving them a voice, enabling them to share experiences and find the information they need, knowing that not all of the information we will find is accurate or useful.

Benefits of Taking an Active Stance on Your MS:

• You have better information about multiple sclerosis, enabling you to better understand your illness, its symptoms and what a relapse looks. Information is power and helps us to react better to any situation.

• You are more committed to improving your health and the healthcare you receive.

• Improving doctor-patient communication will make you better able to talk to your neurologist and participate in decisions. You will be able to ask appropriate questions and understand what the doctor is telling you

• Sharing experiences with other patients who are “living like you” is a source of comfort and encourages you to continue moving forward. You can also learn from other’s experiences and find answers to everyday situations. There is no better teacher than someone who is going through the same thing as you are.

• An active patient has better motivation, that fundamental “energy” that we need to promote healthy habits and be more consistent.

Being active on social networks can be a great emotional support, like a kind of group therapy, helping other people, who in turn help you and enrich your life. Your MS diagnosis may feel daunting at first, but there are ways to actively deal with the disease instead of letting it control you. Spend time with your family and friends, continue with your work, study, hobbies and leisure activities, and when “it” appears, and make sure you have the necessary resources to manage it. Remember, the greatest success you can have in life is to be happy, and that doesn’t depend on an illness, it depends on you!

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