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Does Multiple Sclerosis Make You Angry?

Does Multiple Sclerosis Make You Angry?

Patients of multiple sclerosis are found to have various mood changes. Anger is a known complication seen in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. The reason for this mood variation is still not known but as per research, it is found that mood variation is the result of various pathological changes that take place when there is an autoimmune reaction in the body. (1)

As we know multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating condition in which immune response is imparted against the myelin sheath of the brain and spinal cord. Depending upon the location of lesion an association can be found out between anger and multiple sclerosis. Since there is no proof, but still somehow these studies found to be useful in clinical practice. Making use of physiological and pathological knowledge, it is well known that the center of emotion is in the amygdala, hippocampus all that constitutes the limbic system.

The frontal lobe is the master regulating one’s social behavior. It is well known that if frontal lobe is damaged patient may develop antisocial behavior and tends to behave aggressively.

So when demyelination of frontal lobe, amygdala and basal ganglia takes place then there occur mood changes. Anger is one of the major manifestations witnessed. Many times, patient seems irritated and stressed. These are not healthy signs as they may precipitate further attacks. Stress is an important risk factor for precipitation of attacks.

Therefore, patient needs proper counseling. A lot of times patient get angry and irritated as he or she may be extremely stressed out with his disease. If a disease state is prolonged for long patient tend to get disturbed and irritated. He started losing interest in his day to day activities. At times the patient may get depressed because of his condition.

Various modalities of testing anger have been developed. One such modality is by state-trait- anger expression. In this patient is graded from 1 to 4. Higher the score, more is the level of stress and anger. Four of those scales are as follows-

  • Trait Anger– this measures whether actually a person has an angry personality or he tends to react in such a way when scolded or discouraged.
  • State Anger – whether the patient is feeling angry presently or not. He or she feels like expressing anger or not.
  • Anger Expression Out– whether the patient expresses his or her anger by harming themselves or shouting out loud or throwing away valuable things. He may even express anger by banging his head against the wall.
  • Anger Expression– it measures whether a person suppresses his feeling or not.

Many control studies were done and in conclusion, it came out that patient with multiple sclerosis is more aggressive as compared to people of the same age having no disease. So on the basis of these studies, various psychological treatments are initiated for improving the condition of these patients.

Among all the four scores the last one in which anger expression – in is considered the worst kind of score. The patient is not able to express his emotion out and have the worst quality of life.

Few clinicians have suggested that there must be a correlation between depression, anxiety, and anger, but after years of work they finally concluded that there is no relation between anger and anxiety or depression. Anger is entirely an individual entity.

The only way to support the patient is by counseling and preventing those activities, which made him angry. Various therapies like mood stabilizing therapies have come up. Meditation is even recommended as it helps in maintaining the inner piece.

Talk therapies are even initiated and an option from an expert psychiatrist should be taken. Relaxation exercises are promoted. Morning walks and light exercise may help in improving the condition of the patient. These patient get easily aggressive when criticized so make sure that arguments should not be initiated with these people. This may tend to precipitate attacks.

So overall this is a fact that patient of multiple sclerosis have a tendency to get angry easily and the only way to treat this is by counseling and meditation along with medication.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706287/

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 4, 2019

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