Posted by: Thixia | March 24, 2008

Talking to Friends and Family about MS 1 of 4

Talking can Help:  

It’s not always easy to talk to your friends and family about multiple sclerosis (MS), but speaking up has its benefits, including the following:

It can help your friends and family understand what is happening to you.

If your MS symptoms have been affecting your social or family life, those around you may be wondering what’s up. They may even think they’ve done something to cause the changes. By telling them that you have MS, and explaining how the condition affects you, you’re helping them understand what has been happening.  You will relieve there worry about you.  Sometime fears can be worse than knowing.

It can help you share the load. 

Sharing your condition with friends and family will also make it easier for you to ask for practical and emotional support to lighten your load. For example, you could ask your spouse or children to pitch in with household chores. You may also want to talk to a sympathetic friend.

It can help get your family involved in making decisions.

MS is something you’ll need to face as a family, and the first step is telling your family members about your condition so you can make plans and decisions together.  

It can help your relationships with friends and family evolve.

While you’re still the same person you were before your diagnosis, you’ll have new challenges to face, and telling friends and family can help you face them together. Your relationships will grow and develop as you move forward.

It can relieve the stress of hiding your condition.

You may be keeping your condition from your friends or family for many reasons:

 

  • you aren’t ready to share this information yet,
  • sometimes you have to come to terms with your MS before you tell others.  I live in a small town and I have not told too many people, only my closer friends, in the town about my MS, and I was diagnosed in 1995.  It’s a sort of a need-to-know basis.
  • you may want to protect them from worrying,
  • you may be waiting for the right time,

 

While telling can be stressful, so can concealing your condition. Telling your friends and family will help relieve this strain and worry.  They will be concerned about you.

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