Can stress bring on an attack??

Hi there.

Just wondered if anyone can share their thoughts; Can stressful/upsetting situations bring on a new attack? Is it a new one or just an extreme flare up of old symptoms?

In brief, last week I had to tell a long term friend who has been staying with me and my partner for 4 and half months to shape up or ship out.

For nearly 5 months this "friend" has done NOTHING but party and sleep, they was supposed to be getting a job and sorting life out and I really thought I could give the break that they needed, after all, what are friends for?

Rather than decide to sort things out, my friend chose to leave, which has left me feeling so stupid as I've put myself through hell for nothing. Almost immediatly after I began feeling like I'd just had an attack, loads of old symptoms I've not felt for years took hold in a big way and Ive been in the house for 6 days now.

As if I wan't depressed enough, I've now brought on old symptoms, feel like I've done it to myself, and also found out a long term friend has never really been a friend at all. They haven't even asked if I'm ok despite knowing I'm unwell. I feel really blue.

Can stress really dig up old symptoms like that?? Is it classed as something new? And while I'm at it, has anyone else found that there condition has made you change opinion of friends in general? I used to be so accepting, live and let live etc etc. I wonder if my change of opinions is reason enough to leave old friends behind. Thanks xx

I can't answer your question but I think you have an interesting question.

I had my first MS type attack in mid March this year. It was pretty severe. I am recovered well and only have slight residual symptoms now but my attack happened during a very stressful marriage break-up (of which is still ongoing). My ex has backed right off since this happened as he feels he is partly responsible. Who knows.

I have read though, that there are many factors that can bring back old symptoms and stress is one of them, along with heat and over exertion. 

It isn't easy, but we need to get rid of stress in our lives as much as possible now and you certainly don't need the extra stress you have been through. If you can, I would wash my hands of them now and concentrate on you.


Hi Amy

Yes, stress can be a trigger for ms symptoms.  It's easy to say stay away from

stress, but I know it is a lot harder thing to do.


At the moment if I were you, I would ignore your so called friend, and concentrate

on yourself.  Try to take lots of rest and give yourself some "me" time, something

you enjoy, say curling up on the sofa watching a film, or reading, anything you like doing,

but just rest as much as you can.


Take it one day at a time, and think about yourself first, take care


Hi Amy,

As the others have already said, stress is one of many factors which can exacerbate symptoms and although it's almost impossible to completely avoid it, there are things we can do to try and eliminate unnecessary stress. 

In my opinion you've done the right thing by standing up to your 'friend' who was clearly taking advantage of your kind nature and generosity. The fact that they've opted to leave isn't your problem, if anything it's done you a favour - they had their chance and they blew it so let 'em get on with it! 

Now it's time to concentrate on you! Do the things you enjoy doing - whatever they may be - but above all else make sure that you get some wind down time and a proper rest up. Recharge those batteries.  

I'm not sure that my opinion of friends and people in general has changed as such. I think it's more that my priorities and outlook on life has altered. It's true that we find out who our real friends are when the going gets tough but I think that applies to any potentially life changing situation.

I guess in a way it's almost like an unintended test of friendship - which ones will stick around regardless of our predicament? The other thing to consider is that sometimes people just don't know what to say or how to react in certain situations. It doesn't mean they don't care.

For example a couple of friends of mine who I've known for over 25 years recently told me that when I was initially diagnosed with ms they were devastated. They felt completely and utterly useless and didn't know what they could do to help me. The news had as much of an affect on them as it did on me, but obviously in a very different way.

At the other end of the spectrum another friend who I'd known for over 20 years completely ignored my health issues altogether - and I do mean altogether!! It took me a long time to realise that I'd been 'carrying him' emotionally all those years but that it was never reciprocated. So I got shot of him and you know what....I don't miss him!! 

Concentrate on you and yours Amy and worry less about others. Do what's right for you.

Hope that some small way at least happy2

Debbie xx





Hi Amy

I have noticed tht when I get stresses the pins & needles in my head goes into overdrive. My arms get them & the RHS of my face aso gets them and hen goes numb for a bit. I ont know if it triggers an attack, but I know it’s ah appending and making me feel ad