10 thoughtless comments we hear about MS – with possible answers

“Oh, that’s that yuppie thing, isn’t it?”

No, I have MS, multiple sclerosis, not ‘yuppie flu’ – that’s ME or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

“Pain isn’t a symptom associated with MS.”

Really? Many MS patients and doctors will tell you otherwise. No two MS patients have exactly the same symptoms and just because you happen to know someone with the disease who is fortunate enough not to have pain, don’t assume that we are all the same. We aren’t.

“Are you sure it isn’t all in your head?”

Duh, well it’s certainly not in my´ imagination, if that is what you mean. But each of us with MS have lesions in our brain and on our spine so, in that way, it is really in our head.

“The good thing about having MS is that you’ll never be depressed.”

What? Wherever did you hear that nonsense? People who have a chronic illness, such as MS, have more likelihood of being depressed than those without such a disease.

stupid“Are you still pretending to be ill?”

Oh really! Just because I smile and laugh does not mean I am happy inside. I try and hide my illness and make light of it – but I am still hurting.

“I know for a fact you haven’t got MS.”

Well, that’s very good to know. Thank you so much. Tell me, when did you graduate as a doctor? When did you specialize in neurology? You haven’t, then kindly keep your unsolicited amateur opinions to yourself.

“I often think how I would love to have a little nap after work each day like you do, but I simply don’t have the time.”

I don’t nap because I want to but because I am physically worn out. I just cannot carry on. Let me assure you that a nap nowhere makes up for having multiple sclerosis. Want my nap? Take my MS too.

“You don’t look sick.”

That’s so good to know. Like many others with MS, I strive to look my best at all times despite how bad I feel inside.

“You’re young enough to get better.”

That would be great but, as yet there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. There are promising therapies and research is continuing. But, no cure yet.

“I have a friend with MS and she never misses work.”

That’s fantastic, I am very pleased for her but there are also people who cannot work at all. We are all so varied: there are different forms of MS, a wide variety of possible symptoms and multiple sclerosis itself varies in intensity. After all, it is a progressive disease.


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