Forum

Personality Changes

I am having the weirdest thing happen to me. I am usually a person who keeps everything deep inside and is scared of ever upsetting anybody or voicing my true opinion. My family and friends call me “a people pleaser”. The past two weeks, I have just been saying everything and anything I feel and think. It’s like I have been completely unable to tell anything but the truth. It’s so weird and quite distressing. I have upset one of my oldest and dearest friends beyond comprehension, and now I have just gone and done it to a complete stranger on an MS Society page on Facebook!! I literally can’t stop thinking and speaking in an honest manner. I actually called the girl on the MS Society page an IDIOT…I could not believe it, I felt mortified…but it was obviously what I was thinking at the time.

I’ll be watching TV, speaking with family, watching people in the street…and literally nothing but completely blunt thoughts which would usually be deep in the back of my mind would come to the surface. I really don’t like it.

Has anybody else experienced this? I feel I am becoming an overly opinionated person…literally in the matter of two weeks!

Please help!! I am scared to say anything to my Consultant in case he thinks I am completely bizarre and it’s all “psychosomatic”. I am very lucky to have aquired an MS Psychologist (diagnosed just a year)…so I wonder if I should tell her?

Am I alone?

Hi Cat lady, you horrible nasty person hehe.

If your not o.k with how your behaving make it known to the psychologist that’s what they are there for.

If you feel o.k with it then do nothing and carry on.suffering the consequences.

Yes I can be hurtful to others at times with my uncensored honesty and developed a “I don’t care attitude” I’ve learnt to check myself when I have angry mindchatter and count to 10 before I open my mouth, its not completely gone but I manage myself better doing these 2 simple things, plus i take anti-depressants.!!

Cat lady I must say I tend to tell it like it is and if they don’t like it well that’s for them to sort it out. My sister has MS has developed torets and swears like a trooper considering she used to work in a bank on the till it’s quiet a contrast. I put it down to this nasty disease it bends your mind as well as your body.

Don

This is an interesting thread to me.

There has been definite changes in my behaviour/moods-call it what you will, over these last few months.

I have suddenly become good at swearing, my husband keeps telling me off and I keep saying I’m going to try harder not to swear. I’m not doing it when we go out…I’m on my best behaviour.

I’m an aggressive passenger in the car, when out with my husband, when I see other motorist driving irresponsibly. This is so not like me. I used to be such a calm, laid back person when out in the car.

I have always spoke my mind but usually in a constructive/balanced way. Now I speak it sometimes, in a shall we say, a bit more freely. Having said that, some people need a good telling

Mention it the next time you see the consultant, he will be aware of what you are talking about.

Just try and think before you speak, good friends are important

Take care xx

Hi

I don’t think you’ve become an overly opinionated person. You’ve said that you keep things buried deep inside or at the back of your mind, so by the sounds of it the opinions have always been there. But now, it’s just that the stress & huge weight of emotion that’s resulted from this diagnosis mean you haven’t got the ability, or even desire, to keep it in.

Having those opinions, and not being able to control them, don’t mean you’re a bad person though. It’s normal for people to be more irritable & snappy when we’ve got needs that aren’t being met, or there’s any kind of emotional trauma going on. And anger is a normal part of grieving process, which many of us go through as we mourn the loss of our old lives. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Of course, beating up on others isn’t always the most helpful thing to do either : ) I don’t think suppressing it all the time is that helpful either though - it’ll come out one way or another, and if anything, I’d have said suppressing strong emotions is more likely to result in psychosomatic things than those emotions leaking out.

So finding healthier ways to get your emotions out could be a good idea, be that talking to the psychologist or, as I do sometimes, making good use of a pillow by punching it, walloping it against the floor or wall, or covering it over my mouth & having a good scream & shout (I think I’d shock the neighbours if I didn’t muffle the sound a bit!). And be quick to forgive people, and ask for forgiveness - explain to them that you don’t hate them, it’s the MS that you hate, and that’s leaking out onto others.

I hope you get the support you need, and are able to make up with your nearest & dearest.

Dan

2 Likes

hi

i was told that emotional lability was causing my emotions to be all over the place.

i would laugh really hard when the joke wasn’t that funny.

i would cry, really heartbroken crying, for the slightest reason.

i googled “emotional lability” and it defined it as being adaptatable.

​so just tell yourself that you’re just being adaptable!

no wonder we get it when we are diagnosed with ms!

i’m a lot calmer now though.

carole x

My mother has PPMS and she kind of does the same thing she says and does things sometimes that can hurt me and my siblings to the core in the moment but after the moment fades we realise it’s not us she is mad and frustrated at its herself so all she needs is a hug and a cup of tea and she can’t express her anger and frustration at herself so it kind of transfers to us so I recommend to let the dust settle with your friend then have a chat and explain that sometimes you’re anger towards MS comes out towards the wrong people

"people who matter don’t mind

people who mind don’t matter"

Not that its funny for you, but you reminded me of the film ‘The Invention of Lying’ starring Ricky Gervais, where everyone goes about blurting out the truth or exactly what they are thinking. Great comedy, might cheer you up! Hope you get better!

Just to let you know, MS can affect/change your personality. You definitely should chat to your MS psychologist about this, since they should be an expert. It may be that the stress of having the condition is affecting you, as other people have suggested. Or it may be that you have got a lesion somewhere that is affecting how you interact with the world. If it’s the latter, at least you can explain this to your friends and family. The joys of this disease!

Some interesting replies.

I do think that the emotional drain of having MS can mean that energy that you usually devote to other things (self-censoring before you open your mouth, for instance!) is diverted to deal with pesky MS. It is as if the brain decides to reduce power to non-essential programmes (like self-censoring for the sake of politeness) in order to attend to the new demands. Brains do not always ask us first, when they decide to prioritize tasks in this way. Which is why (or partly why), it seems to me, that you (and I) are more inclined than we used to be to tell the truth when someone asks whether we like her new hat. I’m only half-joking.

Maybe I am being fanciful. But the fact that you have noticed this in yourself gives you an opportunity to step in and decide to tread more carefully, making a conscious decision to turn up the power on your self-censorship engine! That really can work - but it’s a short-term fix. Good enough to restore your confidence and make sure that you don’t start too many fights, anyway. Longer term, however, I agree with those who have said that the strong emotions stirred up by MS will tend to leak out somewhere. Thinking more broadly about how a person manages and deals with strong emotions is something well worth devoting time and thought to. This is tough stuff, and many of us, me included, have benefited from talking to a professional counsellor to who can help a person to navigate tricky waters.

Alison

1 Like

If this is an effect of a lesion then I’m not sure that self-censorship will be possible. Catlady’s description makes it sound like something outside her control - telling her to “step in and tread more carefully” will, in that case, be as productive as telling someone with MS related urinary urgency to do pelvic floor exercises.

1 Like

If it is the direct effect of an MS lesion then you are quite right, of course. Direct effect of a lesion is possible, but such things are surely less common than the (very common) indirect psychological effect of MS on how we feel and behave. At least then we have some (if limited) agency over how we behave, even if we can’t easily change how we feel. I am sure that I am not the only one of us who used to be fairly diplomatic but who now needs, laboriously, go through a self-conscious check-list of appropriateness before opening her mouth!

Alison

1 Like

Personality change because of MS lesions surely must be one of the most horrible effects of this horrible disease. Is it better to try and work out if that is what is happening or just to pretend to yourself that the effects you see are from “the strains of having the condition”? I personally prefer to be realistic about things but I know that’s not for everyone.

Funny enough i am a mum with PPMS, but my girls are 43 and 41 now. Its my husband who cops my hurtful ways the most lol…I mutter awful things behind his back and sometimes hate him…yes really. He does my head in, my girls drive me to drastic too, and when i am on some forums i do slip a bit and say what i think. I was never like that. I was a great communicator, calm and tolerant.

Its frustration, anger and pain. I hate myself, and the way i am. Only 8 years ago i was in a great job, now i cant even cook without burning myself. I am just angry. Not all the time, it comes with emotional waves. I think a hug for me would be the calming of the waters i would love that.

I always say sorry to my hubby now and sometimes i warn him too that i am in a pre MS mood lol…i liken it to someone just before they have their period. I do feel sorry for him and my family, if i could change it i would, i do try and it has got better but sometimes when they stress me, it makes me worse and so on and so forth sadly. BUT I love them all to bits.

Sounds to me that you mum has some special family. x

Well good on you my honest opinion is if i offend then i appologise once only i never say sorry more than once im right up there with you i say it the way it is then if you dont like it dont call around etc i dont know if its the ms or the ptsd that caused my change as me aand the wife have said many times during my time on the lifeboat i saw things that changed me and most probably changed me forever , but is it bad to speak out as soceity and goverments etc dont let us speak our minds and will skate over us quite readilly i say speak your mind be blunt and realise that you are you and not someone you think you should be hope it helps somewhat i guess what im saying is we are unique and ms makes us have strong characters and to me that isnt the worst thing in the world

hope you are okay and find the support you need from this post the other posts and all the wonderfull inspiring folks on this forum

respect sheep