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Receiving a diagnosis and living with MS can mean you also experience mental health conditions, and living with these alongside MS can be a challenge. 

For people with MS, depression is the single most important factor affecting quality of life - even more so than disability or fatigue. Another common MS symptom can be anxiety. Stress and anxious feelings can affect the body's ability to fight disease, so it's important to learn ways of managing anxiety levels as much as possible.

A 2020 study published in the European Journal of Neurology concluded that people with MS are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than the general population. Depression is very common amongst those who are newly diagnosed. 

This hub is a space to find out more about others experiences, use free resources to help take control of your mental health, as well as a list of mental health specific charities who can support you further. 

Useful reading

Mental health for all

Mental health for all

Read three different OMSers experiences of mental health and find out how it has affected them and their coping strategies they have in place.

Ten quick and easy breath meditations

Ten quick and easy breath meditations

These meditations are great to try when you are maybe feeling slightly tense, uneasy or overwhelmed.

Watermelon

Stress, diet and how the OMS Program helps

Carolyn explains why stress can have such a big impact on our ability to keep track of our diet, and explains why the OMS Program can be so helpful.

Stress reduction techniques in MS

Stress reduction techniques in MS – evidence shows how they help

Dr Jonathan White writes about the latest research from NEU on the link between stress-reducing activities and levels of fatigue, depression and mastery in people with MS.

Gratitude in uncertain times

Gratitude in uncertain times

Dr Rachael Hunter shares some useful tips on keeping positive in these uncertain times.

Advice for combating worry during this uncertainty

Advice for combating worry during this uncertainty

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis means that life will feel uncertain for a while. We take you through some simple actions you can take now to feel better.

Finding certainty in uncertainty

Finding certainty in uncertainty

"MS is an uncertain condition and the process of accepting this as part of your prognosis can be a long one". Hannah, who is working on her PhD on the topic of psychological support in MS, reminds us to focus on the present and not the uncertainties of the future.

COVID-19 and mental health

COVID-19 and mental health

Hannah Morris-Baker and Dr Aileen Ho share their findings from a phD study into psychological support in MS.

Guided yoga sequences for anxiety

Read more about mental health

a lady in bed suffering from depression

Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life. The severity can vary from mild to severe. The challenges presented by multiple sclerosis can increase the risk of depression.

a man leaning on a table with head in hand

Anxiety disorders are common and can be even more so in people that have received a diagnosis of MS. Stress and anxious feelings can affect the body’s ability to fight disease, so it’s important to learn ways of managing anxiety levels as much as possible. 

CBT

With more and more of our daily activities becoming online based, here is a personal account of how therapy for depression and anxiety can still be beneficial online.

If you do not feel like you have anyone to talk to please try contacting one of the numbers below:

Australia:

Lifeline - 131114

Samaritans - 135247

Canada:

Crisis Services Canada - 18334564566

France:

Suicide Ecoute - 0033 145 39 4000

Germany:

Telefonseelsorge Deutschland - 0800 -111 0 222

Italy:

Samaritans - 800 86 00 22

New Zealand:

Lifeline New Zealand - 0800543354

South Africa:

Lifeline Southern Africa - 0861 322 322

USA:

Mental Health America - 1 800 273 8255

UK and RoI:

Samaritans - 116 123

Rest of world:

These links are accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

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