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Building Self-Esteem as an MS Patient

February 27, 2017

There is now scientific proof that loving yourself will go a long way towards helping your multiple sclerosis. In a 2016 study, researchers concluded that the quality of intimate relationships was strongly associated with self-concept and illness acceptance.

This, they said, suggested that self-concept could be used to contribute to better outcomes for those with MS. While self-concept, the knowledge one has about themselves, is different than self-esteem, the overall attitude one takes toward themselves can benefit those with MS.

Use Self Love- Shower yourself with love at all times. Continue to tell yourself how awesome you are in any situation. Many studies have shown that self-esteem skyrockets after the use of repetitive positive reinforcement. By thinking positively, people who perceive stress as less threatening are able to cope with it more effectively, while people who think negatively do not expect things to go as planned and tend to anticipate bad outcomes.

Helping people with MS- Strategies like repetitive positive reinforcement could benefit people with MS in particular because studies indicate there are high levels of depression among people with the disease.

“When people struggle with physical discomfort, it’s not uncommon to experience feeling depressed or a lack of motivation. Especially with MS, when you don’t know exactly when the next flare-up will occur, it can be hard to keep your head up.” Said Jennifer Johnston-Jones, PhD, a psychologist in Southern California.

“Often people turn toward Band-Aid treatments such as medication or distractions such as overuse of television, social media, or not committing to the work they are meant to do. Instead, one can focus their efforts on strategies that increase their self-concept and self-worth which will naturally decrease depression.” Jones added. “Some of these strategies include: doing a daily gratitude journal, doing things a little out of your comfort zone, and sharing your vulnerability with others.”

Stress on Relationships- Having MS can also affect your relationships — creating situations that may require people to seek professional help.

One program based in Colorado, Relationship Matters (RM), is a relationship enrichment program that integrates information and resources of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society with marriage education.

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Via HealthLine