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Telling Loved Ones About Your MS

February 26, 2016

The most important thing to know is that there is no right or wrong way to tell your family about your diagnosis. However, there are a few things to consider when you do, in order to be as effective as possible and to be prepared for anything.

Telling Parents: Everyone has a different relationship with their parents. However, grief and worry are normal emotions after such a big bit of news. Parents, after all, tend to worry about their children, even long after they have grown up. Some parents may feel guilty, but being equipped with info on the disease will help them realize that this isn’t their fault.

Telling Spouse/Partner: It is important to realize that MS will change your partner’s life as much as it will change yours. They may in need of comforting the same way you do. If you’re telling your partner a while after your diagnosis, think how long it has taken you to accept your illness. If you’ve been recently diagnosed you will probably have a lot to deal with yourself before you feel able to take on your partner’s worries and fears. Give them time.

Telling Your Kids: Nobody will know your child better than you already do, and you’ll sense if they’ll be dramatic or silent. Kids will naturally have questions, feelings and concerns. You should encourage them to share these with you. Remember they can be much more resilient and accepting of life’s changes than many adults. It is important to sit them down so they are not distracted and look them in the eye. They need to know that their life will change too, but it doesn’t have to be grim.