MS is a complex medical condition where it is easy to understand the physical disability and inhibition of activities. The psychological changes such as depression, anxiety, and thoughts of uncertainty are quite common and are predictable. Certain people do not recognize the symptoms of the disease and this changes their personality and attitude towards life and people. These symptoms may not be present with everyone. These personality traits are either temporary or permanent. It can last for a short period or a long time. Because of the change in the behavior and personality, the patients will be embarrassed to discuss their psychological state. People draw their own conclusions and assumptions about their physical state which can worsen their condition.
Can MS Affect Your Personality?
The changes in the personality of the individuals depend on the impact of MS on life and a person’s attitude towards his well-being. People find it difficult to cope with the diagnosis and feel sad about their increasing disability which results in short-temperedness and lack of concentration. People will not be clear about their thoughts and actions. The patients will be emotionally disturbed and all sad events of life come to the picture which results in unexpected psychological reactions. Fatigue, constant tiredness even after sufficient rest and lack of sleep is common. People often deny accepting changes in their personality and developing symptoms. The symptoms may gradually disappear or person starts to accept the changes and develop methods to deal with it. At times people need professional help to accept the psychological changes and deal with the emotional state. The lesions which are formed due to the destruction of the myelin sheath are one of the reasons for behavioral changes. The intensity of MS and affect on behavior depends on the area affected. The changes in the myelin sheath may or may not fade away with the healing process.
The major personality changes that are seen in patients with MS are
- Mood swings/Uncontrolled emotions
- Lack of emotions
Depression. As we are aware there is damage to the nerves of the brain and spinal cord, damage to certain parts of the brain which can result in depression and it is known that depression cases will be higher in MS. The movement of disability causes negative feelings in the form of anger and misery. They will be a pessimist about the future such patients will be prescribed an antidepressant. Counseling and psychotherapy along with medications help in improving the symptoms of the disease.
Euphoria. It is a mental condition where people are overly optimistic about future aspects. They do not understand reality and often suffer from disturbed memory, attention, and thinking. It is difficult to help these people as they do not acknowledge the behavioral changes. Family and friends need counseling to deal with such people.
Mood Swings. there will be over expression of moods such as crying, laughter or anger. The intensity of mood swings depends on the severity of MS. They overreact to a particular situation; emotionally labile people either cry too much or laugh out of proportion. Moderate level of mood swings can be handled with antidepressants. The patient should acknowledge their behavioral changes which help in easy treatment through counseling and also for controlling emotions. Emotional liability can cause severe problems if patients do not cooperate and control their emotional outbursts even after identifying. There can be uncontrolled laughing and crying sessions without any reason from their state of mind. Although the patients are embarrassed by their emotional outburst still they cannot control.
Lack Of Emotions. The patients will not be able to express their emotional state. There will be no feeling of happiness or sadness
MS has a significant effect on the personality of individuals. The damage caused to the nerves also impacts the psychological state resulting in ether depression, euphoria, lack of emotions and mood swings. It can also be caused due to the side-effects of certain medications.
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