Multiple sclerosis and stress
Multiple sclerosis and stress, a bit like night following day
Stress, a definition
We think the demands being placed on us exceed our ability to cope.
MS and stress
If you have MS then stress is likely to be a constant companion. Its usually just hovering out of sight and gets you just when your guard is down. Stress can lead to all sorts of problems including mood swings and unpredictable behavior.
Do these of the following sound possible?
- You can be difficult to live with
- You become tense and irritable
- Feel overwhelmed
- Suffer sleep disturbances
- To many things are unpredictable
Try to identify what causes the stress levels to rise. This sounds easy, maybe keep a diary providing that does not cause stress. Try jotting notes down on a Word document on your laptop. OK so maybe you now know what is stressful but here comes the tricky bit. Try to change your behaviour so that your reaction to the event does not cause the stress. Sounds easy, its a bit like giving up smoking!
Does this sound familiar?
Imagine this – a few years ago you had a lovely garden but the MS has crept up on you. Now you don’t have the physical energy to look after the garden as well as keep down a part time job and go out to do the food shopping. You continue trying to do all three BUT as well as not doing any of them properly you fall asleep in front of television every evening then when you wake up you get stressed.
The key is recognising the symptoms
There is no point in getting stressed. To relieve the stress you must stop doing one of these You know you cannot afford to stop work so do you start buying your food on the internet or do you find a someone to come in once a week and tend to the garden? You might even do both.
Another useful tool is relaxation. If you realize you are getting stressed stop and take several deep breaths. The key is recognizing that you are stressed and then realising you must do something about it apart from getting even more stressed.
Sharing the problem
MS is a progressive disease, there are other ones as well. As you become more disabled so stress is always just around the corner. You have to find ways of dealing with it, There are plenty of ways of dealing with stress. Having someone to recognize it and help you is invaluable