Cognitive Behaviour

I’ll probably get a lot of haters for this but I need to ask… Does MS affect your cognitive behaviour, decision making and I think the ability to do the right thing? I’m asking because I cheated twice on my partner who I have been with for 11 years. Both were for substantial periods of time. I love my partner very much and do not understand why I didn’t even think that I was doing anything wrong. I have noticed though a change in my personality etc over the last 6 years I would say but am only coming possibly clear on the fact that it may have been due to my MS. I know that it is not an excuse but I do not have any understanding of what else the change could be down to? Any advice would be greatly appreciated and again I know I’ll have negative advice as well. Thanks.

maybe it’s time to try cognitive behaviour therapy. maybe your GP could refer you. most of us understand that ms can make you behave in random uncharacteristic ways.


i am well aware which cognitive changes ms can bring but i still know whats right/wrong or good/bad. affairs need planning and thought so i think its all too easy to blame ‘the ms’ rather than address your guilt and behaviour. sudden outbursts or instant decision-yes i can accept ms affects them but things such as affairs-no-i dont believe that.

caroles suggestion of cbt is a good one. not cos of ms-just life i would suggest.

i am not a hater-in fact thank you for encouraging me to exercise my brain!


I don’t know. I suspect there may be an element of MS affecting cognition which might make a person behave in uncharacteristic ways. The fact that you didn’t (at the time) feel that you were doing wrong could just possibly have been influenced by MS.

We know that MS can and does affect cognition for many people. With some of us, it’s memory that is affected, with others it is complex thought processes. For others still, I imagine decision making and even morality are affected.

Some people with MS become very insular and others overly gregarious, maybe over sharing personal information. Some people become very self centred and selfish - feeling entitled to be considered above all others. Still others feel that it’s their fault they have MS and feel quite apologetic about it.

All of these changes in personality could be laid at the doorway through which MS entered. And yet we, as adults, should still be able to tell right from wrong.

Could you for example steal from another person, or exploit a position of trust in order to gain in monetary terms? And could that type of behaviour be caused by MS? Or could you become violent towards your partner, your children or even strangers, and blame MS for this change (assuming it came about after MS affected you)? Could MS personality changes be used in a court of law to claim a form of insanity which caused criminal behaviour?

Should we be able to stop ourselves from doing wrong in spite of a personality change caused by MS?

Or are some of these types of ‘personality change’ not a change at all, just MS giving an individual a kind of justification for bad behaviour? Or perhaps when having to live with the ever present threat of MS, some people have the feeling that they have the right to behave in whatever way they choose?

Without knowing you, none of us could, or should tell you that your affairs were justified and caused by MS, or the reverse. I think you as an individual really need to examine yourself and decide whether MS is the reason or the excuse for your affairs.


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the question you ask is could m.s. be the reason or the excuse for your behaviour. The answer is we don’t know. - has the guy who, out of character, assaults someone for no apparent reason done it because of something physical happening in his brain? Do some mental illnesses have their root in actual brain disturbances - can the parts controlling behaviours be affected by development of m.s. type plaques. Possibly an issue the medics are shying away from - were people dx’d with a mental illness given an MRI scan I wonder what they would find!

Tend to agree - MS has increased my anxiety and over thinking of things plus forgetfulness and confusion - great partner to have, olde MS…there are things that I have over analysised and can’t get out of my mind…