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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
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Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Multiple Sclerosis Institute
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Weill Medical College of Cornell University

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Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
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Saturday

 

8 Ways to Stay Positive With Multiple Sclerosis














Managing multiple sclerosis requires a proactive approach — becoming educated about the condition, sticking to your treatment plan, and communicating with your doctor if you notice changes in your symptoms. But beyond medical care, the way you approach life can also influence your condition, says Benjamin M. Greenberg, MD, MHS, deputy director of the multiple sclerosis program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"Remaining positive is important in multiple sclerosis for many reasons," Dr. Greenberg says. "There is ample data to indicate that depressed moods tend to magnify symptomatic issues. Pain, fatigue, and cognitive issues can be worsened as a person's mood declines."

1. Get Educated
Knowledge is a powerful tool for living with multiple sclerosis and maintaining a positive outlook.

2. Take Charge of MS Flares
Knowing what to expect during flares can help relieve some of the stress of living with multiple sclerosis.

3. Give Yourself a Break
"Let's face it — multiple sclerosis is so unpredictable," says Denise Pisciotta, right, who's been living with multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years.

4. Get the Real Stats About MS
Arm yourself with facts about living with multiple sclerosis. Don't allow assumptions or dramatic portrayals of the disease on television to influence your outlook.

5. Get the 411 on Wheelchairs
Not everyone living with multiple sclerosis will need to use a wheelchair. Without treatment, many people with multiple sclerosis will have significant difficulty walking, Greenberg says. "But since the advent of new therapies and the expansion of [existing] therapies, that number is dropping."

6. Know That You Can Have Kids
Living with multiple sclerosis doesn't have to prevent you from having children. The likelihood that your child will develop multiple sclerosis is extremely low — Most children of parents with multiple sclerosis will never get the disease, Greenberg says.

7. Work Closely With Your Doctor
Your doctor is your ultimate connection for resources, multiple sclerosis treatment, and support, so finding a doctor you're comfortable working with is a priority.
8. Get Involved in the MS Community
Being part of a community is a good way to find support and develop friendships with people who understand what you're experiencing.


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