Morning everyone, hope your all doing ok, I just wondered, do any of you suffer with low self esteem/confidence because of MS, I know for me I get stuck in a lot on my own and I don’t socalise as much as I used too and I’m starting to think that people think the worst of me and I’m finding that really upsetting, now I will stress that I don’t think like this all the time, just every now and again, I’ve also started to think that at times I’m not a very nice person and the reason I don’t get ask to go places is that people don’t want to be with me, I never really thought like this before, a part from thinking like this I’m generally a happy person, as far as the ms goes I try to look on the bright side, I’m always looking for things to do and places to go, I just can’t understand where this has come from, am I on my own with this one, sorry to anon, just feel silly writng this down, thanks for listening, ANON x x
I think I’ve always suffered from it to some extent (i.e. before MS), so it’s difficult to tell exactly how much is due to the illness.
Looking back, I do feel I’ve lost confidence, rather than gained it, with increasing age and experience, which seems the reverse of most people. I wonder if my decline in confidence parallels my decline in health, because for a long time, I believed myself lazy, or “getting worse at things”, without having any insight into the possibility I was ill. To feel yourself becoming less capable, but without any understanding of why, can’t be great, can it?
I don’t think it’s “silly”. I lost my job last summer, and have had very limited social contact since then. Though in truth, I worked from home anyway, and only very rarely met up with colleagues, who were all over the country! So I didn’t have a huge social network, even through work, but there was daily interaction of some sort, with someone.
I’m fortunate in the sense I don’t have as much need for company as most people. Some people (“extroverts”) gain energy from company, but I am almost certainly “introvert” type, and so find it draining, except in small doses. If I was someone who depended a lot on company, for my own sense of being, I’m sure I’d be finding it harder.
Even so, I would like a bit more social interaction than I get. Chatting to people at the bus stop or the supermarket till isn’t a lot, really, is it, although it helps make the world go round.
I’m sure people aren’t consciously avoiding you, because you’re “not a nice person” - or for any other reason. I think most folk are just quite preoccupied with their own lives, most of the time, so unless you are popping up all the time, as a constant reminder, it’s easy to fade from view. And obviously, if you’re not well, and spending a lot of time at home, you’re not always “popping up” to remind people you still exist.
I sent a wedding anniversary card to a friend recently, and got a call back, probably the moment she must have got it. But if she hadn’t received that little nudge (not that it was my only reason for doing it), I might well not have heard anything for another six months or more. I don’t think she was shunning me because I’m nasty or boring (no hint of that in her call, anyway - she sounded genuinely pleased to speak to me). But I think it’s just a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. She’s very absorbed with family concerns, and hasn’t been too well herself (though nothing like MS). I think she just hadn’t got round to catching up.
So try not to read sinister motives into it - I think a lot of people are like that!
Hi tina, thank you for your reply, it brought tears to my eyes because I know you’re right, deep down I know that my friends still think about me and that others aren’t always thinking bad things about me, but there are still times when I have these thoughts and they make me so unhappy, thank you agaon, take good care, ANON x x
I absolutely agree with Tina. For a long, long time, it was just me imagining things or getting lazy or older and that has to effect your self esteem and confidence. But also when areas of your brain are being damaged, this has to have an effect on psychological well being ? I also think that, generally, people have so much busier lives nowadays. Work, children, home balancing act and just trying to keep up with this rat race can leave people with little time for the social niceties and people become more insular. It’s not until you’re not at work that you take stock. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know the names of neighbours four doors down and they’ve lived here for at least a couple of years. But equally when you are at work, you spend so little time with your family that when your time off does come around, I just wanted to cosy in…but then I lean towards being quite insular anyway !! You are not being silly saying it out loud…just by thinking about it shows that you are a nice person, otherwise you wouldn’t be bothered. Xx
Again echo everything which Tina and Mrs H have said, I am very much like you Tina, more on the introverted side and I do find socialising quite an anxious thing but I have always been like that so I don’t really attribute too much to ms. I feel some of any confidence I have sometimes gets lost but strangely another thing is now I’m not that bothered with trying to “please” people anymore, I’m a bit more outspoken than I used to be and if people find it difficult to accept me as who I am then I think that’s up to them but I can’t stress about it anymore. I’m just wondering, Anon, whether you are on an interferon based DMD which maybe making your mood a bit lower as they can do that. I would monitor your general way of thinking and if you find that the low or anxious times are getting worse, have a word with your ms nurse or GP. Also, Tina and Mrs H are right in saying that people lead such busy and hectic lives now that certain things or people sometimes are left out of peoples thoughts but certainly not in a malicious way so don’t beat yourself up by thinking you are not a nice person etc. Life gets in the way of a lot of things
It sounds as if you’re already practising a form of self-help, by countering the negative thoughts with REASON, when they happen.
This is one of the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): that when so-called “negative automatic thoughts” occur, you challenge them with alternative explanations.
So if you have the thought (for example): “My friends are all avoiding me because they hate me!”, you could challenge it with something like: “Which is the more likely? That they all secretly hate me, or that they’ve just got a bit preoccupied with things in their own lives?”
You seem to recognize that these thoughts and feelings don’t accurately reflect reality, and that you don’t feel that way all the time. You know, deep down, that everyone isn’t avoiding you because you’re not very nice.
So when that thought arises, keep up the good work: answer back with: “Come on, you KNOW that’s not true! It’s just a negative thought, and there’s no evidence to support it.”
Also another good tip is to consider what you’d say to a friend in a similar situation. If she came to you, and said: “I’m concerned people might be avoiding me, because I’m not a very nice person…”, would you say: “Yeah, you’re probably right.”?
My bet is you wouldn’t dream of saying such a thing. Instead, you’d say: “Of course not! Don’t you think they might just be a bit preoccupied with other things right now?”
Start being your own best friend! If you wouldn’t say it to a friend who came to you for advice, then don’t say it to yourself, either. You wouldn’t tell a friend she doesn’t get many invitations because she’s horrid, so why would you say that to yourself? If you do catch yourself saying it, then answer back!
Hi, I was just about to explain the benefits of CBT but see that Tina has done it beautifully.
It really does help a great deal. Look it up on the internet for more info about it, or the book ‘Cognitive Behaviour Therapy For Dummies’ is very good… gives you exercises to do to change your thinking into a more realistic & positive way as Tina describes. (I got a copy on Amazon).
You can also have a course of it on the NHS… so if you are interested see your GP.
It’s not based on some ‘new fangled therapy’ as many people think… but is based on a way of positive thinking used by philosophers in ancient Greece!
I also agree with MrsH that the MS damage in our brains affect our emotions and our thinking… and somehow just remembering that helps.
Thank you for all your replies, this is exactly why I come on this site, because only you people know what;s going on, thanks again, ANON x x
Hi anon. i have just literally suffered with low self esteem, as i had to have the 2nd shower of the day.
I have wet myself 3 times today…5am, 12.30pm and an hour ago!
I am seeing a urologist tomorrow re a spc…tummy water pipe!
Other than that, i`m doing ok.
Hope you feel better soon too.
Thanks for your reply. OMG, I’m so sorry, hope all goes well for you, some posts just make you think, stop bloody moaning,
I think that just writing these things down can be really helpful. A worry that is down on the page can be examined more critically than one swirling around in the head unchecked, and such worries can often shrivel when exposed to that kind of light. I hope that you have found this too, Anon. You sound like a person who will do a good job of getting things back in perspective once you have taken a good look at how you are feeling. I hope so.
As for myself, well I don’t have much of a self-esteem problem except perhaps a bit too much of it!
I hope you feel brighter soon. No one is immune to feeling a bit low sometimes, though - MS takes away so much.
thanks Alison and yes your right, having written it down and then all these olvely replies, I do feel better and thats all because of you lot, my MS buddies, thanks again ANON x x
Hi, in answer to your question about DMD, no I don’t take them, I’m SPMS, but I have just recently started taking Gabepentin, maybe these are making my mood a bit up and down, takns again, ANON x
Hey Anon Exactly, I have the same. I have probably rattled on about it already too much on here, my social life used to revolve around motorsport, all my circle of friends were 20years worth of talking about it, doing it or going to it. And now? I speak to one of that circle sometimes. But if I really think about it, it is probably more that I have fallen away from them rather than they are shunning me, but then again…and the low self esteem steps in again, I presume the same as you? To prove of wrong (luckily I can still just do this) last year I got a team drive in a club I used to race in and so many old friends went out of their way to shake hands, back pat or even (man) hug a greeting. So it must be the brain fog not the reality. Thank you Anon for your post, writing this post alone has given of the urge to stop being so bloody stupid and call people up and get out more! P x
my self esteem and confidence is that low even the rats are laughing at me
Mines pretty low, but I had a mouse running about in the shop with me yesterday and yep, I think he was laughing at me too. ( Just mouse running, not me)
morning, thanks for your replies, Paul, I thank you for what you said, I’m glad my post has made you re-look at things, it did me as I was writting it, you are sooo right about us pulling away from them, rather than the other way around, I did and still do find it too painful to see my mates going off and doing things that I was involved in, but I can’t stop them living, I just have to find a different way of doing things. Owned by murphy, well we’re just going to have to put rat poisin down, that will show the buggers, thanks again, ANON x x
Certainly do. Feel like my life and personality has been taken from me as I can no longer walk/stand. I miss talking to people.
Hi anon, thanks for your reply, this bloody condition has got a lot to answer for, I don’t know how long you’ve been dx’d and I don’t know your situation, but is there any organisations close by that you could join, local ms group maybe, or there is a group named U3A, you can goole them, they do all kinds of things, for people who are either 65 and over, or disabled, I joined acouple of years ago, just to get out, I hate to think of anyone, with no one, take care, ANON x
Hi anon, thanks for your reply, this bloody condition has got a lot to answer for, is there any local organisations you could join, local ms group amybe, or there is a group called U3A, there an organisation that do a lot of different things, you either have to 65, or disabled, I joined a couple of years ago, just to get out, try to google them, I hate to think of someone on there own, good luck, ANON x