Multiple Sclerosis Family and Friend Support
It's all relative: MS support from family and friends
Your family and friends might be a resource in helping to make living with multiple sclerosis (MS) more manageable. By talking openly and honestly, you may help them learn ways they can support you—and you may learn ways you can help them. Read inspiring stories of the relationship between caregivers and their loved ones with MS.
You and your friends
Disclosing your MS to others is a personal decision. Whether you decide to tell others about your MS is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to talk about it. Tailor information as you see fit to the individual and the situation. Over time you'll be able to gauge the reactions of different friends to determine if, when and how much you want to disclose.
You and your partner
If you are married or in a committed relationship, multiple sclerosis (MS) will probably play a role in your relationship in some way. It can bring not only unexpected challenges but also surprising rewards. Working together to overcome obstacles can bring you closer together. You may discover new facets of each other's personalities and capabilities. But it does require shared commitment and effort. The following tips may help.
- Set aside some couple time. This can be any activity the two of you enjoy together, whether that means taking walks, sharing candlelight dinners or having time to just sit and talk.
- Keep the lines of communication open. You and your partner should try to talk openly with each other. It can help you both to validate your feelings and clear up any misunderstandings.
- Learn to ask for help. Your partner may not know what living with MS really feels like, but they can learn how to help you. Often times, people need a little guidance on how to help their loved ones. For instance, try making specific requests for what you want. An example could be instead of saying "I'm tired," ask "Can you make dinner tonight?"
- Connect with an MS group. An MS group may provide you with another outlet of understanding and support in addition to your partner.