Hi all hope your all coping well with this rare hotish summer. A question I would like to ask as I was asked by a mate of mine during a discussion re illnesses. Is it possible that with MS u can be void of any emotion ie emotionally flat not feeling love for someone lack of empathy etc. Again u read so much different stuff on the www and some of it conflicts, saying that relationships are hard and harsh and breakable due tothe emotional damage that MS can/may do. I know a lot of relationships/marriages dont last and some do.
In my opinion, no. Stop thinking MS it makes people paranoid, psychotic, personality disordered, unable to love, etc. etc. These theories can be quite insulting - especially on a forum where most people have MS without any of these problems.
Would you be asking whether cancer or diabetes make people personality disordered or unable to love? If you wouldn’t, then ask yourself why you think it’s OK to say these things about people with MS. It’s an illness, not a mental illness. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful of anyone with genuine mental illness - it’s just not what we have. Even people who take it badly generally wouldn’t fulfil any definition of mental illness.
I appreciate everyone’s MS is different, but my main symptoms are fatigue, weakness, and very painful feet. I can sometimes have a rather short fuse as a result of these, but I’m fundamentally the same person I always was. Most people with MS are - they may have to adapt to doing things differently, or accept physical limitations. But they don’t undergo a complete personality transplant.
Some people on antidepressants can experience a side-effect known as blunted affect, which may mean they find it more difficult to engage emotionally with things, and/or feel their emotions “aren’t real”. Some psychiatric disorders can cause even more severe versions of this. But it’s NOT listed as a normal or even common symptom of MS. Depression, anxiety and mild cognitive impairment (problems with memory and concentration, but not generally intelligence) are common with MS. Psychotic illness is not. Neither is severe emotional disturbance.
I meant no offence and i apologise BUT I disagree there is mental illness such as scycosis as I have experienced it first hand. Bipolar also associated with the illness. Maybe a rare thing. Also emotions in some are affected, perhaps u have never come across it?? I recently read a post from awhile back subject PPMS my boyfriend left me kind of thing. MS can in some cases cause mental illness and as for cancer lost my dad and my wife to cancer…dont worry no offence taken and yes went on various forums to ask about certain things. Also my mother is an ex nurse and very well informed ex nurse and has come across loss of emotions over her 40 years as a nurse…can someone please arrange to have details removed.
I’m wasn’t saying psychosis as a condition does not exist - it’s just not a normal outcome of MS.
I think you might have to accept your friend, or ex, or whatever her current status is, has mental health issues possibly unconnected with MS.
Alternatively, you might have to accept she has simply fallen out of love with you, which of course does happen all the time to people, and again is not necessarily anything to do with MS. You can’t blame MS for all the ills of the world, or even one person’s seemingly irrational behaviour. MS is not particularly known for inducing psychosis, any more than cancer is. Most people with MS lead relatively normal lives, within their physical limitations - just like folks with cancer do. Most of us are not jumping out of moving vehicles, or engaging in other bizarre behaviour.
Whatever the underlying causes, I’m not sure it is helpful for you to try to diagnose her using Google. As she seems to have had a rather extreme reaction to your last encounter, I’m not entirely sure you are the right person to be “helping” her at all. Does she want the help of an ex who’s “diagnosed” her with a personality disorder? I wouldn’t, and I’m not sure many people would. If she doesn’t, then you may need to consider whether the best help you can give her is to withdraw, to avoid inflaming the situation.
I remember when I was first diagnosed I kind of pushed my family (parents) away. Partly because this was my condition, that I have to deal with for the rest of my life, but also because I needed to learn about it and accept it at my own pace… In the early stages it sometimes felt like they were making it all about them, and although I appreciate that it was only because they were worried, it was suffocating at times… Eventually they appreciated this and backed off a bit and by giving me my space have made me much more able and willing to discuss things to do with MS (symptoms, emotions etc…) with them.
Hope that makes some sense - what I’m tryin to say is maybe you should back off a bit and give your friend/ex some space…
(Oh, and stop looking at google… -it really doesn’t help)
MS can mess with your head, big-time, in the same way as any life-changing dx or the challenge of living long-term with a chronic progressive neurolgical condition (or similar) can do. Or the way any really bad life event can do. In other words, psychological pain and the distressing feeling of not being properly ourselves are often an indirect effect of MS. It is, as other replies have suggested, much rarer for MS to act directly on our emotions - i.e. for MS nerve damage to hit our emotional health. There are other parts of our brains that MS seems to find much more tasty, though (optic nerves, for instance, walking and balance and so on) and my understanding is that the parts we do emotional feelings with are generally (although not always) left relatively unscathed.
So don’t panic. It is perfectly likely that your current trouble is your own emotional response to your situation, and that is every so much easier to fix than MS damage. Time and friendship and cheerful company can work wonders, as can allowing ourselves to accept that we are in emotional distress and that this is OK and something we can deal with and work with. It is not a sign of weakness to feel bad about all this. Better times can come.
I agree with Alison. MS can really mess you up - both psychologically and physically. I have panic attacks that are controlled with escitalopram.
I had a relapse once that began with a desire to take my clothes off in public. I didn’t, but got to the neuro quite quickly.
I had to stop bicycling as I had the insane urge to just right at cars. No, I never did this, but it was frightening.
MS can make people emotionally labile. Happy one moment and sobbing 5 minutes later. I guess that the opposite applies as well.
Distraction is good - do or watch or listen to stuff that makes you laugh or smile.
Ms definitely can change a persons personality! My late husband was a mild mannered, non aggressive, non argumentative, placid man…MS hit his frontal lobe, and he bacame abusive, had hallucinations (no bladder infection!), verbally and physically violent - was told the frontal lobe is repsonsible for “reasonable behaviour” or “where we set our boundaries”… MS left Steve without any boundaries and no concept of resonable behaviour… he was assessed by phycologists and phychiatrists, but they both put the blame with his MS
I agree with all the comments here but am surprised to find the one thing that is a major factor in this discussion is missing.
There is no mention of medications. Most have side effects which include the loss of your sex drive and the like. The main one I can think of is Amitriptyline. I was started on it 4 years ago when I was diagnosed and I lost all feelings of emotion and my sex drive. Fortunatly I have a great wife and a local support group where I could share my feelings and views. I then came off the tablets and hey presto everything began to come back.
So to answer your orignal question, Yes MS is a factor in the issue but only because of the medications you may be taking or your own emotional response to dealing with MS.
Remember people without MS lose their abilty to show emotions as well but what can they blame it on??? Its all so common for people both with and without MS to blame it on the illness when 99% of it is just an excuse.
Explore all other posibilities and you may be surprised to find an easy solution.