angieh 27/12/17
Last reply 6 months ago
Can MS change your personality?

So I’m depressed and I don’t know exactly how to address this. Ever since MS has acted up I am just mean I think. I’m having crying spells, fits of anger, zero motivation or interest. It seems like depression, I just don’t know wether to seek out psych meds or ride this out or what? I’m also approaching menopause. I just wonder sometimes if MS is changing my brain I feel like I truly have changed and cannot stop it. I’m just not myself and I keep wanting to blame it on other things and not on MS. Am I in denial?! Any input is appreciated food for thought!

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stumbler
6 months ago

@angieh , MS can sometimes become a huge burden for us to carry around. Especially at this time of year, which can bring so many things into focus.

You need to share your feelings with your Family Doctor. It’s not unusual for us to need some assistance to maintain a healthy equilibrium in our brains. Yes, I’m talking about anti-depressants.

These may just be required to provide the temporary assistance that you need or may become part of life’s daily rituals.

You’re not weak. Life can just be demanding.


cameron
6 months ago

Quote from my GP: ‘Everyone diagnosed with a chronic condition undergoes a change in their mental state’. Take @stumbler‘s advice.


angieh
6 months ago

Thank you for those words. Update, I have had blood work done, no infection and all else is in order. I guess that’s good to know, but it also means I have nothing much else to blame my fatigue and dizziness on! The vagueness of my symptoms is probably the hardest thing about MS. It’s just that constant ‘not feeling up to par’.


nutshell88
6 months ago

It did do in my case 100%


mhworden
6 months ago

Hi @angieh. I know the feelings. For me mood seems to directly link to fatigue/lassitude and stress level. The higher they are the more disagreeable, emotional, and unenthusiastic I am. You may find cognitive behavioural therapies (eg meditation) a useful tool in combating the degree of impact. This in addition to as @stumbler😉


tracyd
6 months ago

@angieh

Oh sweetie it is such a change to be told you have this rubbish thing.

There are stages which most of us go through at some point. The anger that it’s happened, the grief that it feels like a little piece of you has betrayed you, the sorrow that this might mean your carefully made plans might need to be changed, and perhaps fear that because everyone’s MS is different and there is no straight forward recipe that you can plan for, or how others might react and will it change things.

First I will say being diagnosed now is absolutely the best time to find out the MonSter has invaded your life there are awesome treatments now that if used to hit hard and fast you can shut the shitty MonSter in his box for a long time.

What I can tell you about my diagnosis in 2014 is that it was a shock, it made me feel very differently about some people in my life, the ones who treat their bodies like crap and whine about it – I call this my fuckwittery failure. It made me angry at it (the MS) I wanted to hurt it to break it to leave it battered and bleeding holding its balls and crying for its mum

I’m now coming up on nearly 3 years No Evidence Disease Activity NEDA and the MonSter is still here but he’s very quiet and keeps his greedy hands off my life.

You have a friend request if you want someone to talk to I’m happy to share contact details on private message xxx


nutshell88
6 months ago

I used to cry get angry so easy but now I never cry but can cry anytime if i wanted lol got teary eye not because im sad i was but not anymore not as shocked as i was. but my personality changed i used to keep myself tp myself before and after ms now i cant keep a word in my mouth i keep making jokes going out with people ect


salvador
6 months ago

It certainly hasn’t changed my personality, you useless bunch of halfwits. I’m still the same cheerful, tolerant person I ever was, not that you’d understand. 😂


Anonymous
6 months ago

Hi Angieh,

I’ve suffered from depression for over 20 years, most of that time on various meds.

I was only diagnosed with MS this year, so don’t think the two are linked but you never know for certain.

The biggest issue I’ve found since my diagnosis is trying to separate the two conditions (MS & depression). The problem is that the symptoms can be very similar causing frustration for both me and my doctors. Fatigue like symptoms can be linked to both conditions and when you have no energy it makes depression worse as you physically cannot make the most of your life.
I’m still in the very early stages of my diagnosis so have yet to find a happy balance as to what I am capable of. It’s very difficult to stay positive though, I’m trying to think of MS not as the end of my life but as a start of a new chapter.

As far as antidepressants are concerned, don’t be scared to try them if you are struggling. Sometimes a small dosage can just take the edge off things and make life easier to cope with. Personally I was in a very bad place after my diagnosis, not so much caused by the realisation of having MS but the two years of tests and uncertainty beforehand.
I had to take almost 3 months off work and have a complete overhaul of my antidepressant meds. It was worth it though as I now feel much better equipped to deal with things.

I’m not the same person as before my diagnosis but I understand what’s going on in my body now. The numb limbs aren’t as scary when you know it’s just one of those MS things.

It’s really hard going and really scary, but I think it does get easier so hang in there. Have a chat with your GP, if they’re any good they should understand that you need some support.

If you want to chat please feel free to message/ friend me.

Jason


angieh
6 months ago

Thank you for all of the comments. Coming from those who really understand, it helps a lot. Even though I’ve been diagnosed since 1998, it’s like I’m Newley diagnosed because it’s been quiet until now. It is a grieving of sorts I suppose. It is true though that symptoms aren’t as scary when you can say it’s just one of those MS things. If I didn’t have MS, by now I would certainly think I was dying of some rare disease, (which I do sometimes think honestly) I’m not! I’m learning how to adjust to this chronic disease, slowly accepting.


daisychain
6 months ago

I think it does change how you are wired. I was exactly like you, anger, tears, depression and then I took a look at my life and started to see that a lot of that was because I was trying to live my life as I was doing before, only changing some things because of the MS and that was causing some frustration. So I simplified. I got meds for the fatigue which was my biggest problem, then I changed my pace of life. I now don’t feel like a have to keep up and I’m failing… I set the pace, be it job ( which I changed – taking a pay cut but happier ) , the way I lived ( fewer responsibilities ) etc. All the frustration and anger is gone now.


samyj
6 months ago

I too felt like my brain was changing, and I was changing and couldn’t stop it. I feel that my personality has changed, I am far more outspoken. All my family say that I have changed !!!!!! I am intolerant, get angry easily (especially in the car) and at times frustrated when I can’t think of the right words, the F word appears far more than it used too (lol). I was diagnosed with MS in the last 4/5 years and menopause arrived around the same time, so it’s hardly surprising. I think it’s a mixture of both of these things. I no longer put pressure on myself, if I don’t want to do something, then I don’t. I have given up my job, I find the more I do then the worse my symptoms are.
It’s good to share how you feel with others who know. By reading posts on this site, you realize your not going mad, we are all going through a process and we all find our way of coping. Be kind to yourself.
I have recently come to realize that it is not always the MS or the menopause, but sometimes just life and that other women feel the same.


edmontonalberta
6 months ago

@angieh

Maybe you never thought about this but the minute you are born, you are going to die – not just you, but me also. Enjoy life; seriously!


cameron
6 months ago

Re: @edmontonalberta‘s comment: and you will realise how strong this has made you when you realise you are genuinely able to offer comfort and support to people round you who are ALSO going through stuff. I see now that there aren’t many folk who have an easy ride. Carpe diem – SEIZE THE DAY. xx


fingersandtoes
6 months ago

Angie, you’re incredible! I was diagnosed a few weeks ago but had my first relapse 4 1/2 years ago. My consultant at the time asked if I wanted an MRI. He said it didn’t necessarily mean anything, just measured the risk of it happening again. He said some people go for 20 years without another relapse. Angie, you are that person, so well done 🙂

Of course, I was convinced I was going to be that person too but after being fine for three years I’ve had three relapses this year. I think there have been emotional effects too – like I was seeing a guy around the time of my first relapse. One night I started crying and just couldn’t stop. My Dad was quite sick at the time so the stress didn’t help. One relapse this year was after a particularly stressful time at work.

Now I have a diagnosis I feel like I can knuckle down and just get on with living in this body of mine. I can’t return it for another one, right?

I’ve done a bit of mindfulness, I really take care of myself physically and I think I managed a bit of a CBT job on myself when I was dealing with fatigue – though I haven’t done any formal CBT. Speak to your GP and see what help is on offer – and as you say you are approaching menopause, it may not be MS but I think this is a treat the symptom not the cause situation.

Do you do much exercise? Running has been my saviour in all this. It’s helped with the mental side of things as much as the physical. If I can run a marathon on not even a good day (I ran London Marathon during my second relapse this year), I can get myself out of bed on a bad day. (and if it’s still a bad day after I’ve stood up and looked around I can get back in bed)

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