Posted by: february13 | March 24, 2008

Children and Teens: Coping with

Children and Teens:  Coping with MS


This article is for all children and teens affected by MS in some way.



Finding out that either you or your parent has MS can be a very frightening time.  I have writing out a few of the emotions that you might be experiencing.  Please know that whatever you are feeling is normal.  It is very important to talk over these feelings with a trusted adult.


Denial and Isolation:


     One of the first reactions to learning that we or someone we love has a terrible disease, in this case MS, is to deny that we or they have that disease.  Sometimes admitting that someone has MS it too difficult, so you may deny that you or he/she has MS.  You may pretend that you or he/she don’t have MS.   This reaction is perfectly okay.  If this helps you to deal with MS it is just fine.  Go ahead and deny or pretend.


     It is very important to talk to others about your feelings.  Find out everything you can about MS.  Talk to someone who can explain things.  Your local MS Society may have books written about MS for children and teens.  They might have a support group for children, teens, and/or their parents.






     You may become angry, and ask ‘Why does _____  have MS, fill in the blank with the person’s name.  


     Anger is a very real and accepted emotion or feeling.  You may be mad with different people or with things or with your pet or with God or the person with MS or the doctor.  When you are angry at something or someone other than the person with MS it is called misplaced anger.  As long as you understand it you can deal with it.  Don’t feel guilty for misplaced anger.  It happens.  It is part of healing your feelings.  Make sure you apologize if you hurt someone because of your angry feelings.  You may even feel resentful that you or a family member got MS.  That’s okay.  These feelings will pass.

You may have to see health professional to help you deal your feelings.  And that is okay too. 




Sadness or Depression


Talking about what is making you feel sad or depressed, is a good start to changing how you feel.  Find a trusted friend, family member to talk to about your mixed-up feelings.


Go ahead and cry.  It is OK to cry.  Crying is very healing.  Go for long walks, drives, or bike rides to be alone and cry.  Hug people because it feels ever so good the receive hugs.  You may feel like crying often, go ahead and let yourself cry when you feel like it.  If you can’t get some place to be alone, go cry in the washroom.



Anger Busters


·     Talk to a friend you can trust;

·     Count to 10;

·     Get or give a hug;

·     Stamp your feet;

·     Beat up a pillow because the pillow can’t get hurt;

·     Draw a picture of your anger;

·     Play a video game;

·     Run around the outside of the house five times as fast as you can;

·     Sing along with some songs, start out with songs that match your mood and gradually play music that is more up-beat

·     Pull weeds in the garden; this is a great way to abolish anger, with each weed that you pull yell out a word or a phrase for something that is bothering you.  For example:  with several weeds call out MS, MS, I hate it.

·     Think good thoughts (maybe about a fun vacation or your favourite sport);

·     Take a bike ride or go in-line skating, jog, drive, walk.




It is OK to be shy about talking to people about what is bothering you.

Write down things you want to talk if case you feel too shy to talk.  Give yourself time to become used to the idea that either you or someone you love has MS.



Order of Grieving


The above emotions will not necessarily occur in the order listed.  Everyone goes through these emotions in their own way at their own time.  This whole process can take a very long time.  Don’t expect over night emotional healing.  It won’t happen. 


This long process is called grieving.  People grieve for different reasons.  Although, grief is always associated with a loss of some soret:  a death of a loved one, a change is life style, or a loss of the way things were before MS.





After all the crying, talking, thinking, and anger you will start to accept that Multiple Sclerosis is part of your life.  You will learn many ways to deal with MS in everyday situations.  You will never be happy that MS is in your family.  You will always wish that you or your loved one didn’t have to live with MS.  After awhile you will come to realize that MS isn’t the worst disease to have.  It might change your life a little.  You will still be you.  The person with MS will still be the same person.  You will get used to your new life and learn to live with it.



  1. I am in that situation right now with my 22 year old son, was told he has ms this 2010 November/December. and I have been crying since. unable to accept the situation, and now I am trying face it with education. know more about ms and its medication will help me and my son

  2. Hi Jon, Yes, education is the greatest way to accept the reality of MS. It isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. It is terrible, but we can live with it. What kind of MS does you son have? Maybe I could help you a bit more.

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