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20 Things People say that are Wrong about MS

By Gay Falkowski

Whether you’ve had MS for a few months or many years, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten some pretty bad advice from people who just don’t have a clue. Everybody’s an expert, right? Negativity can be a real drag when you’re trying your hardest to overcome MS. So, we’ve taken 20 of the most common myths you’re likely to hear after diagnosis and then we’ve set the record straight. Share to make others aware.
  1. The person who has MS is to blame for getting the disease.
  2. MS is fatal.
  3. Everyone with MS always ends up in a wheelchair.
  4. MS is contagious.
  5. People with MS shouldn’t have children.
  6. Exercise is bad for you if you have MS.
  7. MS isn’t painful.
  8. When you’re diagnosed with MS you have to quit working.
  9. There’s no treatment for MS.
  10. MS is all in your head.
  11. If you just try harder you can overcome MS.
  12. You can get rid of MS fatigue by sleeping more.
  13. MS doesn’t really exist because they don’t know what causes it.
  14. You can be fired from your job just because you have MS.
  15. MS doesn’t affect thinking skills.
  16. Children can’t get MS.
  17. MS can’t make you feel that bad because you look so good.
  18. Once you have a relapse you’ll never get better.
  19. You’ll never keep or find a life partner once you get MS.
  20. When you get MS, your life is over.
Reality Check:
  1. It’s not your fault you got MS. You didn’t do anything wrong.
  2. Your life expectancy with MS is almost as long as a person without MS.
  3. About two-thirds of those with MS never need to use a wheelchair.
  4. Hug and kiss as much as you want – MS is not contagious.
  5. There are considerations to keep in mind when deciding to have a baby when you have MS, but in general doctors do not discourage pregnancy with MS.
  6. No exercise? Au contraire, one of the best things you can do for yourself when you have MS is exercise. Check with your doctor first.
  7. MS hurts. Pain is a very real and difficult symptom. There ways to manage it, though. Be sure to tell your doctor.
  8. Many people with MS continue working after diagnosis. If needed, you are entitled to accommodations under the law.
  9. There are many FDA-approved treatments for MS and many others in clinical trials. Finding the right one for you may take time, but you have options.
  10. MS is not psychosomatic. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to prove that.
  11. If trying hard was the cure, no one would have MS. Doing your best does make a difference though.
  12. Nope, you can’t sleep away MS fatigue. But you can work with an occupational therapist to manage your energy and make the most of your awake time.
  13. MS is real. See No. 10.
  14. Nope you can’t get fired for having MS. See No. 8.
  15. MS can affect your thinking. More than 50 percent have cognitive issues. It’s also true that it can change the way you think about life’s priorities, in a good way.
  16. Unfortunately, children can get MS. As more doctors learn to recognize pediatric MS, more cases may be diagnosed. Early diagnosis will give kids with MS an advantage to managing and hopefully slowing the disease.
  17. Tell them they’re wrong and just keep smiling because you do look good.
  18. You can rebound from a relapse with no disease progression.
  19. MS does not affect your ability to love or be loved. The MSF community has many stories of couples whose love continues to thrive despite – or even because of – MS.
  20. When you’re diagnosed with MS, life as you knew it is over. But with the right attitude, medical guidance, and support, MS can lead you to self-discoveries that enrich your life in ways you never imagined.