Personality changes

Hi everyone

Hope you all enjoyed the last bank holiday before Xmas!(better start that shopping quick)

I have been wondering about something that seems to of happened to me. I think that I’ve changed. When I think back over the last 2 years I feel that I’m a different person now, I know everybody changes due to life and all that but I’m 32 and it doesn’t seem to be “growing up” changes that everyone goes through anyway. I just don’t feel like me anymore.

I used to be quite out going and relaxed but now I find it very hard to be around my friends, they just annoy me, I get irrated by the smallest thing that normally I would ignore, I have no concentration to speak of, I find it hard to join in a conversation just keep quiet when used to be quite vocal, I’ve become paranoid, snappy and have started to isolate myself from things.

I was Dx with RRMS in Oct 2012 was wondering is this a normal(?) MS thing? Have I just become a not very nice person? Is this the condition or am I depressed? Maybe not got to grips with the DX yet? Sorry for all the questions but don’t have anyone else I feel comfortable asking reallly apart from you lovely folk…please help me from becoming a bitter wench!

Thanks in advance


Well done, first of all, on posting in the first place. It’s not an easy thing to acknowledge that you might have a “problem”.

As for the changes being down to MS…who knows? I’ve had depression for over 20 years, diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. There is research that shows depression could be a symptom of MS (in a clinical sense, not a reactive “I’m depressed because I have MS”), but that’s speculative. I think you should not care why things have changed, but what you can do about it.

We all change as we get older; I certainly became less of a “people person” as I entered my 30’s, so it could be a natural thing. But it certainly sounds like you are depressed. You might benefit from talking to someone (your GP should be able to arrange some counselling, or if you have an MS nurse, ask them); or you could consider anti-depressants. They can get a bad rap, but they can be very effective. Even if you feel “OK” with your diagnosis (as OK as we can!), it can have a cumulative effect that we don’t realise…we trudge along and get on things while it can fester away without us noticing.

Please ask for some help where you can; you’ve taken the first step so good luck with wherever you go from here.


Becky I don’t imagine for one minute that you are a “not nice” person. If you were you wouldn’t be concerned for others and how they perceive you. I agree with Sarah that you may be stressed or depressed and there really is no shame in either. You should please see someone to talk to. Between you both you can find a solution either by counselling or medication. MS is a big thing to cope with and if you’re like me you’ll have been trying to keep up the happy strong face for friends and family and after a while cracks start showing. I’ve had depression for years, even before ms and take anti depressants. Nobody would know if I didn’t tell them but I don’t feel ashamed of it. I’d rather take them as my mood has improved, my relationship with friends and family is good. It’s not a miracle cure but I swear by them. I’ve had counselling too and even now with my diagnosis I’m settled and my glass is definitely half full.

Wow Becky, that is exactly what I was going to ask. I have been getting really, really angry recently. Like today I have been getting so angry. At everything, at everyone and then pop, I am fine again. It is the strangest thing and quite frightening. It’s been happening to me more and more over the last few weeks. It must be a physical symptom. Some lesions must be in an area that affect emotion. Like you, I was diagnosed in October. I really knew at the beginning of last year when I had a really horrible relapse. It’s really taken me until the last few months for me to come to terms with all this. I have suffered with depression and for this I take St Johns Wort (unfortunately cannot be used by women on ther pill). I find that Omega 3 also helps and I do Mindfulness which is brilliant (when I am not being the angriest man in the world).

As Sarah says, I would go and see your Doctor to see if you can get something to help you through this, be it therapy or medication.

I hope that things work out.

Adrian x

Hi Becky I am definitely less tolerant of some things than I was, especially simultaneous multiple noises, since my major relapse last year. But I hope and of course, this is a very subjective view, that I can still be diplomatic in the way I tell people !! But I’d have to say that I definitely lean towards being more introverted than I’ve ever been. And I definitely struggle being around people. But I think that’s more about my perception of what I’ve become and with it, losing a lot of confidence. I also know that I was very depressed when first diagnosed, in a very sad, scared, way. My Neuro put me on a low dose of amytriptilene because it helps in a three fold way which is perfectly geared to my symptoms. And it helps a lot. But I still have down days. I went to bed yesterday at 11am and stayed there until 5pm and cried most of the day away. I have no idea why!!! Catherine Xx

Hi Becky I think most people go through this after diagnosis, some straight away, and some a little later. I know I did. I even had an old boss tell me I had changed, because I was less tolerant and snappy. I think it shocked her because before that, I was the most patient and happy person. Needless to say, I visited my GP who arranged for me to see a counsellor. That was about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike as she knew nothing about MS at all and it made me feel worse. So I gave up. Anyhoo, he then decided to try me on some low dose antidepressants which helped a great deal. I then spent a lot of time reading about MS and joined this forum, which has been a great help. I don’t post very often really, but I do visit everyday, just to read what others are going through. Needless to say, my old personality has returned, but I do have periods where I am snappy, irritable and all the things you describe. But they do pass with me. I have also learned to say no, because before that, I would be the go to person, and so I tell people honestly now that I can’t or don’t want to do something they have asked me. And I like that. So the answer from me is to visit your GP. Diagnosis is a shock, and MS on its own can cause depression. Keep your chin up sweetie Amanda xx

Hi Becky !

I’ve become a lot more sensitive, less good humoured and less tolerant/patient than I was pre-MS.

I put most of that down to wasting so much time blaming everyone/everything for my MS and spending so long refusing to accept the situation (…and getting older physically while I still think of myself as a teenager mentally).

Just starting to accept how things are and slowly but surely recapturing my sense of humour and once again trying to look for the good in others rather than zeroing in on negative things!!

I’m hoping that I’ll eventually get back to being the person I was pre-diagnosis


One thing I have noted is that I really get short-tempered.

This may be down to a combination of slowing down with age, and slowing down with MS. Just about everything takes a lot longer, so one thinks of ways to save every second one can. This can mean that you get annoyed when some thing or somebody does not take the quick option. I know it happens to me - so it could happen to someone else.

Depression? Not yet for me, but I know that it is not far away (and I will admit to sneaking a look at one of my textbooks, so that I can keep it at bay).

Going back to Becky’s original query - sounds like a typical bit of MS at work. It iis not too bad if you have noticed it, and are thinking about it. Talking about it is even better, and if you have nobody close to talk to, we are always here.


i think feeling that is part of our journey,but positive attidude and accepting help,with thing will help you,i dug myself into a hole,but like to think ,the ladders are being delivered,to get me out the hole,im half way up the ladder,and im going to get to the top soon:) you have admitted how you are feeling,a positive step :slight_smile:

Hi Becky, Don’t worry, You’re not horrible!!! I am 50 so a good deal older than you and I’ve always been a bit of a worrier and have found that I find socialising difficult but since I started to get ms symptoms and the official diagnosis I find that I have turned more snappy, less tolerant, more grumpy and I must admit I don’t like how I’ve become. I really think it is because I am frightened, I mean really really scared of this illness. There I was happily getting on with life, was really quite healthy, hardly ever went to the GP then Wham…MS strikes and now I worry about the future, I can’t walk properly now ( I used to love walking ) there seems to always be bits of me which don’t behave or are in pain. I find myself not even looking forward to a holiday and that’s so unusual for me as I used to get so excited about holidays. Maybe you just feel scared Becky, MS turns your life upside down and I know that you, me and everybody who has MS are just going to have to cope the best we can. It’s a huge " how am I really going to be affected by this for the rest of my life? " question as everyone is affected in their own ways. It really helps if you have a good support network around you and I find this forum is one of the best places to come onto as people on here have so many answers and a proper understanding of how we all feel. Hope that you can feel a bit better about things soon. x

Hi everyone

Thank you all for your replies, I haven’t been ignoring you, my computer decided that it wouldn’t play with me anymore and only just got the damn thing to co-operate (imagine the worst swear words you can think of… basically I threw a few of them at it and now its working!!)

I have had problems with depression and anxiety since I was 21 which then developed into agraphobia and couldn’t leave the house for 4 years. I thought I was managing all that now and somehow this feels different. I think that maybe a trip to the GP would be a start to get to the bottom of it, but it’s interesting that I’m not the only one who feels different maybe it is a MS thing too.

Maybe I’m just out growing some of my friends…

Thanks again for all your kind words…you guys never cease to amaze me with your responses

You are all great


Sorry, my first chat. But the above comments have got me thinking. I’ve had similar issues which i thought was because of my newly acquired single status, including moving home & job. But you all are very helpful with the food-for-thought, not that I plan to do anything, as life’s not so bad now. (Except the MS)… I’m used to that relationship :-/ Sorry to jump on your forum post Becky, but hope things go your way…

Hi, I’m new to this forum, I had my diagnosis about 10+ yrs ago, and have remitting / relapsing MS, my last major episode was a couple of yrs ago, resulting in paralysis of the left side of my face which has not recovered, and some mobility loss. I have been experiencing increasing feelings of an emptiness inside, a lack of emotion which is now impacting on my relationship with my partner of 30+ yrs. My partner suffers from severe depression and anxiety, and my lack of emotion and focus is destroying us. The thing is I’ve only just put 2 + 2 together as no one in the medical profession has ever mentioned there may be the possibility of personality change associated with MS. I read a really good article which I’m posting a link to incase it helps someone to understand what may be going on for them. Best wishes to all. Chris (Swansea)…

Thanks Chris,

I only glanced at the publication but it looks like a very concise summery of the problem.

It takes detective work to establish whether the cause of personality change is psychological, organic or medicinal. Just to make things difficult it could be a combination of factors as well.

I agree that it’s a subject that deserves an airing, but it’s no wonder that the medical professionals don’t want to open that can of worms!

Best wishes,