SHE TALKS MS

A video series featuring women living with MS and neurologists who discuss the
sensitive but important topics that women face.

Success

This has been added to your Favorites

Emotional impact after MS diagnosis

Chelsey B., Tina Z., and Pam S. talk with Dr. Klineova about dealing with the initial MS diagnosis and building emotional wellness for the long term.

Transcript

Mental & Emotional Wellness
EMOTIONAL IMPACT AFTER MS DIAGNOSIS

Dr. Wanda Castro: Welcome to She Talks MS. My name is Wanda Castro. I work with Biogen. And today we will be talking about mental and emotional wellness. Tell me when were you diagnosed and what were your first symptoms?

Chelsey B.: So, it’ll actually be two years at the end of this month. I had issues with my eye. And then it was probably about two, two and a half months before I had a diagnosis with MS. It was just finally like, actually relieving to have an answer, and to know what was going on after so long of just being confused, and in pain, and just not knowing why.

Wanda: What about you Tina?

Tina Z.: I was diagnosed fairly quickly, in 2008. MS took away my ability to walk, took away my ability to move my arms. But it can’t have my sense of humor, it can’t have my friendships with people, that’s mine. And there is nothing that can take that from me. MS is a very humbling disease. So, when things come up that can be humiliating, I dig down and I find my sense of humor. That’s my superpower, that’s my superpower. The thing that I say is, today may be the best day you’re going to have in your life, so enjoy it. Because if tomorrow’s not as good, you have something to enjoy. Find something to enjoy every day.

Wanda: What about you, Pam? Have you been impacted by either emotional or mental wellness?

Pam S.: I think today, I’m 20 plus years into MS, so emotionally I’m good. But if you had asked me that question during my first year of diagnosis, my second year of diagnosis, I was a hot mess. It impacted me tremendously, emotionally, because I felt like the disease had completely stripped who I was, how I defined myself. I was pretty active before I was diagnosed, and I physically could not do those things that made me who I felt I was. So, it was a pretty tumultuous time until I kind of figured out how to navigate around the disease and figured out it was going to be okay.

Wanda: And how was that process from that point that you were to where you are now?

Pam S.: For me to get to the point where I am now certainly was not overnight. I can’t say that I’ve accepted my diagnosis, but I coexist with it. We have learned to work together. But it was a process of 20 plus years. I’m much, much better, but I feel like I still have room to get even better.

Wanda: So Chelsey, can you tell us a little bit about what things have impacted your mental or emotional health?

Chelsey B.: Just being diagnosed, since I’m still coming off a diagnosis, and still working out and figuring out everything daily, two years in, it’s still a learning process. I definitely feel myself getting a little bit more frustrated, a little bit angrier with certain things, and I catch myself. I’m like, wait a second, why am I feeling like this? I don’t need to be so frustrated right now. I have to catch myself in those moments, and take a nice big, deep breath, and everything’s fine.

Wanda: So, do you feel that any depression or anxiety you may experience comes in waves, or was it just a chronic condition?

Pam S.: I think I was sad, but I don’t think I was truly depressed. And I went to my neurologist because a friend of mine told me I needed to take something. And when I went to my neurologist, he’s like, Pam, you are not depressed. Yeah, you’re going through something, but I know you, you can get through this. And I didn’t know the difference, you know, depression, and I just knew I was really down. But I did work out of it.

Wanda: So, Dr. Klineova, following up on that, how do you differentiate this, as Pam said, sadness versus actual depression?

Dr. Sylvia Klineova (Neurology, Mount Sinai Health System): Right, so there is no test that we can run to tease out whether the depression is what we call situational, mood change, or adjustment disorder, right, when we diagnose patients with MS, or whether they have a depression caused by multiple sclerosis. So, we try to build that mental and emotional health, build the resilience, build coping abilities, so they can go and live their lives to the fullest. We talk about wellness and what encompasses wellness. And we, you know, make sure that women address every issue. If there’s a need for therapists, or any other mental health professionals, like cognitive therapists, we identify that.

Wanda: So, if you are going to give one piece of advice to those that are viewing us, what will it be?

Tina Z.: It’s important to give yourself permission not to always be happy and perky—and that to me is a huge relief.

Pam S.: If you feel that you’re having emotional problems or cognitive problems or mental health problems, don’t be ashamed, don’t be afraid, just know that there are at least a million other people that could potentially be feeling the same as you. You’re not in it by yourself. Talk to your healthcare provider. If you don’t ask, they can’t help.

Wanda: So ladies, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I know it was a hard topic, but you all gave us really, really good points. So thank you so much.

All: Thank you.

Everyone’s experience with multiple sclerosis (MS) is different. Your healthcare provider should always be your primary source of information. The people in this video are paid spokespeople for Biogen.

MORE FROM SHE TALKS MS

SHE TALKS MS

Our roles as women & living with MS

From Biogen

She Talks MS

How MS may impact sex

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Discussing sex with your healthcare provider

From Biogen

ALL VIDEOS

FAMILY PLANNING & PREGNANCY

SHE TALKS MS

Considering pregnancy

From Biogen

SHE TALKS MS

Being pregnant with MS

From Biogen

She Talks MS

What to expect postpartum

From Biogen

SHE TALKS MS

Considering pregnancy

From Biogen

SHE TALKS MS

Being pregnant with MS

From Biogen

She Talks MS

What to expect postpartum

From Biogen

MENTAL & EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

SHE TALKS MS

Our roles as women & living with MS

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Getting emotional & cognitive support

From Biogen

SHE TALKS MS

Our roles as women & living with MS

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Getting emotional & cognitive support

From Biogen

SEXUAL HEALTH

She Talks MS

How MS may impact sex

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Discussing sex with your healthcare provider

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Discussing sex with your partner

From Biogen

She Talks MS

How MS may impact sex

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Discussing sex with your healthcare provider

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Discussing sex with your partner

From Biogen

BOWEL & BLADDER FUNCTION

She Talks MS

Bathroom-related MS symptoms

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Urination tips & tools

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Bathroom concerns: Discussing with your healthcare provider

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Bathroom-related MS symptoms

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Urination tips & tools

From Biogen

She Talks MS

Bathroom concerns: Discussing with your healthcare provider

From Biogen

SIGN UP AND GET A COMPLIMENTARY RECIPE BOOK

Sign up today for Above MS emails and get a book with healthy recipes mailed to your home.

Enter a valid email address

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Mental & emotional health

Maintaining mindfulness at work

From Biogen

Exercise & fitness

6 ways to help stay active

From Herb L.

JOIN ABOVE MS

Stay connected with our community

From Biogen

ABOVE MS PROGRAM

Access to Nurse Educators

From Biogen

MS Education

MS among African Americans

From Dr. Williams

Exercise & fitness

4 tips on aging with MS

From Herb L.

Recipes

Almond energy bites

Snack

From Jessica T.

DIAGNOSIS

An MS diagnosis at 25

From Chelsey B.

Recipes

Avocado toast

Breakfast

From Jessica C.

Recipes

Baked falafel

Entrée

From Jessica C.

Recipes

Banana oatmeal breakfast cookies

Breakfast

From Beth P.

Recipes

Beet & red lentil hummus

Snack

From Jessica C.

About MS Treatment

Being your own best advocate

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

The benefits of living with a pet

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Bladder & bowel dysfunction

From Biogen

Recipes

Buffalo cauliflower

Snack

From Gina F.

Mental & emotional health

Celebrating life with MS

From Stephanie G.

MS Education

Clinical trials 101

From Biogen

MS Education

Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Connecting your team

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Counseling as an option

From Jessica T.

DIAGNOSIS

Dealing with your MS diagnosis

From Shari S.

Mental & emotional health

Dealing with memory problems

From Biogen

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing MS: What you may expect

From Dr. Coyle

Diet & nutrition

Diets & supplements to consider

From Dr. Williams

Diet & nutrition

Dining out made easier

From Biogen

Exercise & fitness

Discover potential benefits of yoga

From Biogen

About MS Treatment

How disease modifying treatments may help

From Dr. Bowen

DIAGNOSIS

Encouragement if you’re newly diagnosed

From Biogen

Live MS events & Webinars

Learn about MS and connect with others. Check out in-person and online events....more

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

Finding your silver lining

From Biogen

About MS Treatment

Finding the right treatment

From Biogen

Recipes

Fruit crisp pie

Dessert

From Gina F.

MS EDUCATION

Watch this webinar to learn from MS expert Dr. Weigel

From Biogen

ABOVE MS PROGRAM

Getting financial & insurance support

From Biogen

About MS Treatment

Goal of DMTs

From Biogen

Recipes

Grandma’s date treats

Snack

From Stephanie G.

Mental & emotional health

Using positivity to overcome stigma

From Robyn F.

About MS Treatment

Health insurance & MS

From Biogen

Recipes

Homemade hummus

Snack

From Kellie T.

ABOVE MS PROGRAM

Help from Support Coordinators

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Honestly MS: Feeling alone with MS

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Honestly MS: Opening up about difficult topics

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Honestly MS: Redefining intimacy with your partner

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Honestly MS: Taking on bladder & bowel issues

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

How humor may be beneficial

From Paul P.

MS Education

How MS may affect the body

From Biogen

MS Education

The immune system & MS

From Biogen

DIAGNOSIS

How MS is diagnosed

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

How meditation may help

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Emotional changes

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Vision problems

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Walking difficulties

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

How spiritual wellness may help

From Mary Kay F.

Mental & emotional health

Staying motivated with MS

From Charlie “Justice” B.

About MS Treatment

I wish I knew

From our Expert Contributors

About MS Treatment

The importance of treating early

From Biogen

Recipes

Jersey’s bruschetta

Snack

From Stephanie G.

Recipes

Kale chips

Snack

From Gina F.

Mental & emotional health

8 ways to keep your brain engaged

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Key members of your support team

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

More than MS

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

Living a fulfilling life with MS

From Charlie “Justice” B.

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Types of MS pain

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Cognitive dysfunction

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Fatigue

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Heat sensitivity

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Spasticity

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

Maintaining a positive outlook

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Making the most of your MS doctor appointments

From Dr. Weigel

Diet & nutrition

Making changes to your diet

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Making the most of visits with your healthcare team

From Robyn F.

Diet & nutrition

Meal planning for the week ahead

From Judy B.

MS EDUCATION

Monitoring disease activity

From Biogen

Diet & nutrition

Navigating grocery stores

From Judy B.

Your MS Healthcare Team

Occupational therapy & MS

From Dr. Kalina

Recipes

One-pot Greek manestra

Entrée

From Cat S.

Recipes

Overnight oats

Breakfast

From Judy B.

Recipes

Pasta puttanesca

Entrée

From Judy B.

Your MS Healthcare Team

Physical therapy & MS

From Nancy D.

Exercise & fitness

Pilates for beginners

From Jessica T.

Recipes

Power smoothie

Breakfast

From Stephanie G.

Recipes

Power-up oatmeal

Breakfast

From Gina F.

MS Education

Pregnancy & MS

From Jessica T.

Your MS Healthcare Team

Psychological support

From Biogen

Recipes

Ratatouille

Entrée

From Cat S.

Diet & nutrition

Reading nutrition labels

From Jessica C.

MS Education

Science behind making an MS drug

From Dr. Mi

Exercise & fitness

Zumba exercises with Nancy D.

From Nancy D.

Recipes

Shrimp pasta with a twist

Entrée

From Gina F.

ABOVE MS PROGRAM

Sign up today

From Biogen

Recipes

Slow-cooker dill salmon

Entrée

From Stephanie G.

Exercise & fitness

Stationary cardio with Nancy D.

From Nancy D.

Diet & nutrition

Stocking a healthy kitchen

From Biogen

Exercise & fitness

Stretching exercises with Nancy D.

From Nancy D.

Brain Games

Sudoku

From Biogen

ABOVE MS PROGRAM

Q&A with a Support Coordinator

From Shantavia C.

Recipes

Sweet potato nachos

Snack

From Judy B.

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: Numbness & tingling

From Biogen

Recipes

Deconstructed taco salad

Entrée

From Jessica C.

Mental & emotional health

Taking charge of my MS

From April M.

About MS Treatment

Taking your relapsing MS medication

From Jessica T.

MS Symptoms

Symptom Series: How to talk about MS pain 

From Biogen

ABY MS APP

Download Biogen’s app to support your MS journey

From Biogen

MS Symptoms

The most common MS symptoms

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

Tips if you’re dealing with memory issues

From Paul P.

Exercise & fitness

Tips for aquatic exercise

From Sheryl S.

MS Symptoms

Tips for common MS symptoms

From Biogen

YOUR MS HEALTHCARE TEAM

How I found the right doctor for me

From Chelsey B.

About MS Treatment

Tips for staying on track

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Tips for talking with your doctor

From Biogen

Recipes

Tofu steaks & vegetables

Entrée

From Cat S.

Mental & emotional health

Tools & games for your mind

From Biogen

MS Education

Types of MS

From Biogen

About MS Treatment

Types of relapsing MS treatments

From Dr. Tufeld

DIAGNOSIS

Understanding MRIs

From Biogen

MS Education

Understanding relapsing MS

From Biogen

Exercise & fitness

Upper-body workouts for MS

From Biogen

Recipes

Vegan banana ice cream

Dessert

From Jessica C.

Mental & emotional health

360° approach to wellness

From Beth P.

MS Education

Understanding lesions

From Biogen

About MS Treatment

What you may expect from treatment

From Dr. Coyle

Recipes

White chicken chili

Entrée

From Jessica T.

MS EDUCATION

Who gets MS?

From Biogen

Mental & emotional health

Why mental exercise may help

From Biogen

Your MS Healthcare Team

Working with your MS nurse

From Dr. Weigel

Mental & emotional health

You are beautiful

From Charlie “Justice” B.

Brain Games

Crossword

From Biogen

Brain Games

Flipout

From Biogen