MS and Depression
Depressive symptoms are prevalent in people with MS. Finding ways to improve your mood, instead of trying to find all the triggers, is the most beneficial route. Here’s how:
Find Your Strengths
Any chronic medical condition forces you to think about the bad more than the good. This emphasis changes the way you see yourself. MS has not changed your personality or character traits as much as your perceptions of yourself have changed.
Work to reestablish a strong sense of self by listing your favorable attributes. Write down your visible and invisible characteristics. Think about what other people like about you and what makes you a good friend. Look at yourself in the mirror to accept and value your body. Acceptance of yourself reduces depression.
Goals keep you focused and moving forward. A person without goals is as aimless as a boat without a rudder. Set small, relevant, specific goals that build towards a path. Rather than passively assuming that MS will control your life, decide what you want to do with the next days, weeks and years.
Change Your Self-Talk
You are always talking to yourself. That internal monologue is your self-talk. When depressed, your self-talk is more negative and self-defeating.
Challenge your self-talk to be more positive. If your self-talk is telling you that you are a failure or that no one likes you, seek out evidence to the contrary. Negative self-talk is depression working against you. Refute it to shrink depression.
If you are searching for something to improve your depression that's cheap, readily available and without harmful side effects, look no further than exercise. If MS has limited your functioning, look for compromises and modifications.
Increasing your heart rate and warming up your body is beneficial physically and mentally. Finding an avenue to activity crushes depression.
Everybody needs it. Everybody wants it. Have you been having enough fun lately?
When you have MS, fun is not a privilege, it is a right and a necessity. Push yourself to have fun. Engaging in desirable activities will recharge your batteries more than simply laying on the couch.
Next page: dealing with anger.
Page three: the connection between MS and anxiety and how to cope.