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Overcome Depression

People with MS can get depressed. A lot of feelings come up when adjusting to life with a chronic disease: grief, anger and anxiety are just a few. But if your "blue" mood goes on for weeks or more, it may be a sign that you are clinically depressed.

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Also of interest...

Managing Your Symptoms: Depression (MS Learn Online Webcast)



Depression tends to worsen if it is not treated. So take action if you think you are depressed. The first step is to recognize the problem. Then get the help you need to cope with it.

Recognize the problem.

Do you have 5 or more of these symptoms that last for two weeks or longer?

  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Feeling sad, tearful, anxious, or "numb"
  • Feeling irritable, angry, pessimistic
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, empty
  • Feeling guilty, worthless
  • Decreased energy, ongoing fatigue
  • Impaired concentration, memory, decision-making
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Get the help you need.

  • Get a professional evaluation by a physician and/or mental health professional.
  • Call 1-800-FIGHT-MS for referrals from your chapter office.
  • The best treatment is usually a combination of ...
psychotherapy   medication
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What You CAN do now
to cope with your depression.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Reduce stress in your life. Try breathing exercises and meditation.
  • Maintain your social networks. Call your friends. Join a support group. Don't withdraw from the world.
  • Stay in touch with your medical team.
  • Acknowledge your feelings. Get a notebook and write. Find some quiet time for yourself.
  • Stay away from addictive substances such as alcohol.




These tips brought to you by The Heuga Center, promoting health and creating hope for people with MS for more than 20 years, and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Contributing editors: Brian Hutchinson, PT, President, The Heuga Center; InsideMS Magazine.


You CAN! is brought to you with the help of The Heuga Center as a reminder that despite the challenges MS may bring, you have a whole life to live.

We encourage you to visit You CAN! regularly. Topics change every other month.


Additional Resources

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2005