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What's the Best Thing I Can Do for a Loved One Who Has Multiple Sclerosis?

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It's important to have an understanding of the illness. Unfortunately, many of the MS symptoms are invisible. For example, cognitive problems, fatigue, pain, I can't see this, I can hear about it. And we know that people with MS have, oftentimes, symptoms like fatigue or cognitive dysfunction. The spouse may not understand this, and may say, maybe she's just feeling sorry for herself or maybe he's just annoyed that he got the disease and not going to deal with it probably, so it's really important to be educated.

So I invite when I see a person with MS that the family come in as well so that they can learn about it and understand, I invite them to go to sessions where we have a group of people with MS and their families hear about the disease, they can understand it better. Education is the key, and then when dealing with anything, as I said, I like patients to be educated and know what they're dealing with.

The fear tends to disappear, and you know what you're dealing with, you know what you have to do to control, you'll understand the symptoms, you'll begin to respect the individual's issues and understand that they're not just depression or feeling sorry for themselves, it's a manifestation of the illness.

So education, reading and the problem, of course, is many people go to the internet and they get all kinds of information, I tend to guide my patients towards websites I know to be accurate like, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, for example. There are other ones, there are plenty of other ones, but I tend to guide them to go to those kind of sites to learn, and to come to sessions where people like me give presentations about the disease.