The Emotional Struggles of Dealing with RRMS

  • by  Shauna F.
  •   June 04, 2018

Shauna F. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

The emotional struggles associated with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) can be difficult. I was diagnosed with RRMS at 32 years old. At the time, I had a three-year-old, a one-year-old and a newborn baby. I considered myself to be young, healthy and in the prime of my life, but after experiencing optic neuritis, my diagnosis was confirmed. I was not only scared for my future, but also for the future of my children. My emotions ran wild for the first few years that followed my diagnosis. I remember looking in the mirror some days and wondering who was looking back at me. I felt lost, hopeless and afraid. 

I thought, how could this be? One moment I'm a healthy young mother of three and the next I have a chronic illness. The advice my doctor gave me was to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. I remember going home and feeling sorry that my children had a mother with a lifelong disease.

I also experienced emotional distress associated with my RRMS, as the impact of the disease was not “visible” to my friends and family. I worried my husband would see me as unattractive and undesirable. He had no idea I was feeling this way—no one did—because I internalized my emotions, which I now understand was not healthy. I decided to reach out to my doctor to discuss how I was feeling, because I realized I needed more support. My doctor assured me that the way I felt was not uncommon for people living with RRMS.

For me, seeking help and learning ways to manage my emotions really helped. I joined support groups where I shared my RRMS story with others and realized my lack of knowledge about the disease played a huge role in my emotional uncertainty. The more I conversed with others living with RRMS and read resources, the better I started to feel.

Ten years after my RRMS diagnosis, I’ve realized life goes on, although a bit differently; it can still be great and fulfilling despite living with a chronic illness. As I continue on my “soul-searching” journey, which includes support from my family and friends, I feel hopeful for the future and what lies ahead.

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Shauna F.

RRMS Patient

See Important Safety Information below and full Prescribing Information for Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate Injection).

COP-45289 June 2018
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2 Comment(s)
  • Peggy Wade  | August 10, 2018
    Ms is challenging but you can live with it.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | August 13, 2018
      That's the spirit, Peggy! Keep up the positive attitude.
  • Johnathan Lee | August 19, 2018
    I’ve been living with my RRMS for 10 years. It took me a long time to except it. I feel good but I find feeling hopeful for the future for me is a roller coaster I’ll feel so good but I find it doesn’t take a lot to get pushed back.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | August 20, 2018
      An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience, Johnathan. It's great that you're here, and we hope you find others in the Lift MS community who can relate.