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Lucy Wood blog: When it comes to multiple sclerosis, don’t forget the mental health effects

May 24, 2021 | Local News

When it comes to multiple sclerosis, I think a lot of people forget about the mental health effects of the disease. I for one have had my mental health affected a great deal in the past and it still affects me now.

I believe that I developed anxiety at a young age, and it slowly developed as I grew up. I think my anxiety started from the uncertainty surrounding my condition and the fact that I did not know whether I would be okay in the future. This led me to become an ‘over-thinker’, and I would constantly worry about what my MS would be like in as time went on and the obstacles I might have to face. I have also been diagnosed with clinical depression by a neuropsychologist.  Clinical depression is a more severe form of depression and is also known as major depressive disorder. I can sometimes go through major dips with my depression that can lead me to contemplate suicide, as I can sometimes make myself believe that I cause many issues with my family with me having my condition.

However, I have thankfully received help from specialists such as counsellors and the mental health service, The Samaritans and CAHMS. Getting the help that I needed allowed me to see life from a different point of view and made me realise that I have many people around me that do want me here and that I was given this life because I have a purpose. I believe that this purpose may have been to raise awareness on childhood MS.

I have further realised now that I cannot live my life worrying about anything and everything as life is not all about the what ifs. I have also learned through counselling to train myself out of the mindset of overthinking about things, as I have to understand that I cannot have control over everything in life.

If there is any message I want to put out there with this blog, it is that you cannot live your life in silence. I suffered in silence deeply for a while, but once I opened up to someone about how I was feeling, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I did not have to struggle any longer. Talking about how you feel always helps, and there is help out there for you!

If you are struggling and need help: