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S4E60 10 mins with George: The importance of mindset and support


Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits.

George’s Story

When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this.

It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with a commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is a real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.

George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program.

Download the episode transcript

Selected Key Takeaways:

Take care of your mental health

(6:04) “If you’re going through… struggles, I would recommend talking to someone like a psychologist. Personally, when I first was diagnosed with MS, I had quite a number of sessions with a psychologist to help me understand what I was going through, what my emotions were about, and how that was playing out in the context of my life.”

Others with MS are a great support

(6:49) “Peer support is great for people who are struggling because, let’s face it, all of us struggle with things at different times in our lives. There’s nothing more helpful in many ways than someone who’s been on the same journey and has worked out how to deal with it.”

Health should be included in our top priorities

(10:28) “I was into goal setting and things at the time that I was diagnosed. That was at the age of 45. And I looked back through a number of my goal-setting documents that I produced for myself, and I always left health blank. Now, what does that tell you? Everything else was filled in: work, leisure, finance, you name it, but health was always blank. So, it was an interesting wake-up call for me to get a serious illness.”

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