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Monday

 

Cheri Lee, Columnist, MSnewsChannel.com

 
My best friend & high school sweetheart just passed away October 5th. I NEVER STOPPED LOVING HIM! HIS LOVE WAS ENOUGH TO LAST ME A LIFETIME!

I'm writing my Column this week about my emotions and grieving about my personal loss and Grief combined with my MS! And about how difficult it is for me trying to get through it!   (I'm leaving the details of my grief for the last paragraphs)

People with Ms and their Emotions; Did you know that people with MS are more sensitive to certain things and have less control of their emotions. In addition to these emotional reactions to the disease, demyelination and damage to nerve fibers in the brain can also result in emotional changes. Some of the medications used in MS—such as corticosteroids—can also have significant effects on the emotions.
Some of the emotional changes observed in MS include the following: Major depressive episodes as well as less severe depressive symptoms Grieving for losses related to the disease Stress and reactions to stressful situations Generalized distress and anxiety Emotional mood swings or Pseudobulbar Affect - uncontrollable laughing and/or crying.  Depression may range from feeling down for a few hours on a given day to severe clinical depression that may last for several months. Depression appears to be a chemical imbalance that may occur at any time, even when life is going well.

The most effective treatment for depression is a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication MS may have profound emotional consequences. At first, it may be difficult to adjust to the diagnosis of a disorder that is unpredictable, has a fluctuating course, and carries a risk of progressing over time to some level of physical disability. Lack of knowledge about the disease adds to the anxieties commonly experienced by people who are newly diagnosed. In addition to these emotional reactions to the disease, demyelination and damage to nerve fibers in the brain can also result in emotional changes. Some of the medications used in MS—such as corticosteroids—can also have significant effects on the emotions.

Some of the emotional changes observed in MS include the following: Major depressive episodes as well as less severe depressive symptoms Grieving for losses related to the disease Stress and reactions to stressful situations Generalized distress and anxiety Emotional lability or moodswings Pseudobulbar Affect - uncontrollable laughing and/or crying Inappropriate behavior such as sexual aggressiveness Depression “Depression” is a term that people apply to a wide variety of emotional states. These may range from feeling down for a few hours on a given day to severe clinical depression that may last for several months.

People with MS and all those closely associated with them should be aware that depression in its various forms is common during the course of multiple sclerosis. In fact, studies have suggested that clinical depression, the severest form of depression, is more frequent among people with MS than it is in the general population or even in persons with other chronic, disabling conditions. Depression does not indicate weak character and it should not be considered something shameful that needs to be hidden.   Depression is not something that a person can control or prevent by willpower or determination. In its most severe forms, depression appears to be a chemical imbalance that may occur at any time, even when life is going well. The most effective treatment for depression is a combination of psychotherapy and Although support groups may be helpful for less severe depressive symptoms and generalized distress, they are no substitute for intensive clinical treatment.  Stress Life is full of stress and MS generally adds a hefty dose of disease-related stress to the mix.

MS is unpredictable and just anticipating the next exacerbation can be a significant source of stress. MS can also lead to some major life changes such as loss of mobility and interference with work. Thus the person with MS faces significant challenges in coping with a potentially stressful life. Stress has also been cited as a possible precipitant of the onset of MS or a trigger for exacerbations. Studies of the effects of stress on MS, however, have had conflicting results. It is important to not fall into the trap of trying to “avoid stress,” a nearly impossible task given the realities of life. Moreover, family and friends should not make the mistake of feeling guilty because they think they may have “created stress” in the person’s life. Stress is part of the reality of living and probably the best approach, rather than trying to avoid it, is to learn how best to manage and cope with it. Stress-management programs are readily available and have become an accepted part of the treatment of many medical disorders. Professional counseling as well as support groups can also help in learning how better to cope with stress.  

In addition to its physical symptoms, MS may have profound emotional consequences. At first, it may be difficult to adjust to the diagnosis of a disorder that is unpredictable, has a fluctuating course, and carries a risk of progressing over time to some level of physical disability. Lack of knowledge about the disease adds to the anxieties commonly experienced by people who are newly diagnosed. In addition to these emotional reactions to the disease, demyelination and damage to nerve fibers in the brain can also result in emotional changes. Some of the medications used in MS—such as corticosteroids—can also have significant effects on the emotions. Some of the emotional changes observed in MS include the following: Major depressive episodes as well as less severe depressive symptoms Grieving for losses related to the disease Stress and reactions to stressful situations Generalized distress and anxiety Emotional lability or mood swings Pseudobulbar Affect - uncontrollable laughing and/or crying Inappropriate behavior such as sexual aggressiveness

Depression “Depression” is a term that people apply to a wide variety of emotional states. These may range from feeling down for a few hours on a given day to severe clinical depression that may last for several months. People with MS and all those closely associated with them should be aware that depression in its various forms is common during the course of multiple sclerosis. In fact, studies have suggested that clinical depression, the severest form of depression, is more frequent among people with MS than it is in the general population or even in persons with other chronic, disabling conditions.  .

Grieving : Persons with MS often experience losses—for example of the ability to work, to walk, or to engage in certain leisure activities. The process of mourning for these losses may resemble depression. However, grief is generally time-limited and resolves on its own. Moreover, a person experiencing grief may at times be able to enjoy some of life’s activities. Clinical depression is more persistent and unremitting, with continuous symptoms lasting at least two weeks. Grieving is generally related to changes in self-image triggered by the disease—e.g., no longer being able to think of oneself as an athlete. However, this process seems to be evolutionary and, with time and adaptive coping strategies, the individual can develop an altered self-image. Grief generally resolves with time even without treatment. However, supportive counseling, support groups, as well as an understanding and supportive environment can help the process along.

I will now personally talk about Grieving about my personal loss and Grief and how difficult it is trying to get through it. My best friend and high school sweetheart passed away October 5th, 2013.  It takes much more than that to explain he was my first boyfriend, my first love he was always mine even when we did not marry, I was the one who held his heart. When we were in high school I was in an almost fatal car accident and he was there by my side. We kept in touch over the years and wondered why we never ended up together. I received a text from his wife on the 7th of October telling me that he had passed. I lost it as I could not stop crying and all our precious memories were going through my head. I called all my family and they could not believe it because he was like family we had known him since I was 15 years old and in two months I will be 45. I just kept crying and crying and I still cry to this day and my forever love and sweetheart is buried and in Heaven. I don’t know if I will get over this one but I can tell you the emotions you can’t control. I wake up at 3am and start balling because I am thinking of him.

I know that part of it could be the MS and I can’t control my emotions because my myelin is damaged. The reality is I had what everyone only dreams of, a man that loved me more than life its self and for 30 years he never stopped loving me. I never stopped loving him either, his love was enough to last me a life time worth. I just need to work on my emotions, taking flowers to visit him helps me a lot. I need to do what I can, I am blessed to have been loved by this man.



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