empathy

Impaired Social Cognition May Affect Well-being of RRMS Patients

Impaired social cognition — lacking the ability to understand and process others’ emotions — may affect how people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) feel on a day-to-day basis, a small, three-year study has found. RRMS patients with such difficulties were “characterized at follow-up by a higher level of depression…

When Roses Change, Color Me Surprised

Right now, it’s tempting to feel hopeless. COVID-19 is still out there with no vaccine in sight. Millions of people are out of work. And regardless of how you feel about the protests taking place in all 50 U.S. states (and around the world), all of us can admit…

Social Cognition: Does It Impact MS Symptoms?

Feeling tired, depressed, or anxious? Maybe it has to do with your social cognition. Social cognition involves empathy and recognizing the emotions that are revealed by someone’s facial expression. That expression may show fear or disgust. Or it may warn us of danger. Social cognition also involves the…

Being Kind to Others with MS Can Help Our Own Well-being

Sometimes I feel that some in the multiple sclerosis (MS) community do not show kindness to each other. Perhaps they can’t relate to others’ MS realities because their symptoms are dissimilar or they have a different disease type. I have witnessed interactions between people with MS in which one…

Do People Think Your MS Problems Are All in Your Head?

Have you ever had a friend, spouse, or even a doctor tell you that you’re imagining your MS pain, your fatigue, or even your sexual problems? “You’re not trying,” they might say. Or, “You just need to exercise.” It happens all the time for many of us, and it’s…

MS Is Frustrating, So It’s Healthy to Talk About It

We all have taken advice or read about how to manage our multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. And we can share with our doctors, spouses, children, or friends about our experiences. But a far better emotional therapy is empathizing with a fellow MS warrior. People can’t understand living with MS…

I Choose to Address Chronic Illness on My Terms

Who decides how we choose to chronicle our journey of illness? I have thought about this for the past few days. Many people believe that sharing the negative aspects of illness exacerbates fear and pessimism. The mindset is that if our words are inconsistent with hope and optimism, we…

Friendships and MS

Maintaining friendships can be challenging for those with a chronic illness. It may be difficult for friends to understand the changes that take place because of MS. Some changes are quite sudden and visible, others sneak in slowly. Increased fatigue or pain, I find, are most difficult for friends…

MS Takes a Toll on Caregivers, Too, Especially on Their Mental Health

Caregivers of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often burdened by fatigue and depression, even anger, all of which can unwittingly reduce the quality of care given — although they remain quite empathetic, according to a study. The research team at the University of Manitoba in Canada suggested that tending to the needs of people caring for…