July 26, 2022
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Jeff Wasserman/Stocksy United
There is no right or wrong way to feel when you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition like MS. Your feelings, whatever they may be, are valid.
An MS diagnosis can bring on a flood of emotions — anger, disbelief, grief, and more.
It can be hard to accept that life as you knew it has changed. Navigating a new reality of doctor’s appointments and modified daily activities can cause distress and sadness.
Mourning your life before your diagnosis is completely normal, but it’s important to manage your anger and related grief so it doesn’t consume you. Prolonged anger has been linked to depression and other health problems.
Members of the Bezzy MS community understand the big emotions that come with the condition. Here’s their advice for managing anger post MS diagnosis.
“I don’t think you ever have to be positive about your MS, but be positive about you. You are not your MS — you are your strength, and your culture, your family, and your history — and none of these are affected by this dreadful disease.
There has never been a better time to be an MS’er — treatments for both MS and symptoms have never been so advanced. In this day and age, any of the physical symptoms can be accommodated, so the mental aspect is the final battleground. Live, laugh, breathe, and love — you can do this.” — Tinns
“After 30 years with MS, I found I needed to find a hobby, join a support group, or volunteer at the library. My advice is to try to find something you can find joy in. Maybe it’s just binge-watching a TV series, finding a local support group, or calling a friend.” — Lynne
“I notice emotional stress really takes a toll on my energy level and cognitive ability, almost as if being angry or stressed totally wipes me out. It’s not that I’m positive about my MS, I do hate it very much, but I choose to focus on the positives in my life so as not to make a bad situation worse.” — Mishy
“I go through the entire grief cycle, sometimes daily. But I’m trying to let go of the anger because of how ineffective it is for me and how bad stress is for MS. Plus, it hurts my husband and kids. I’m trying hard with therapy to change my thoughts and accept that this is just my life now, and I cannot control it.
Don’t ever discount your emotions but try to find an outlet for the anger — writing, or a punching bag if you have the strength.” — MtnMaggie
“I was angry at the beginning, then I went to grief counseling. I dealt with it. I learned I could still make a difference in many lives. I’ve had MS for 25 years. I’ve made a big difference in many lives and learned I could paint. My life is full, and I am happy.” — Verna Stearns
There’s no right or wrong way to feel when you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition like MS. Your feelings, whatever they may be, are valid.
You may feel anger years after your diagnosis, too. Processing grief isn’t a one-and-done experience — sometimes, anger ebbs and flows.
Grief counseling can help you to process your emotions at any stage in your MS journey. Never feel ashamed to ask for help.
If you want to learn how others cope with grief and anger, visit the Personal Community forum at Bezzy MS. You’re not on this journey alone.
Medically reviewed on July 26, 2022
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