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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

MS Stress:

How Does Grieving

Effect Multiple Sclerosis?

When it comes to MS stress, created by grief, this can present more problems for those of us, who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, than it would normally for people without the diagnosis of MS.

More extreme emotions, especially anything that leads towards more traumatic experiences in our lives can cause incredible amounts of stress on the nervous system of those with Multiple Sclerosis, causing the nervous system to short circuit more often.

This can result in increasing the scarring on the spinal cord or through out the brain, as the myelin can have more active demyelination during times of high stress.

The added stress on our bodies can greatly increase the change of Multiple Sclerosis attacks, relapses or exacerbations.  This means that the MS attacks can also increase in the number of attacks that are appearing, in addition to the stress increasing the severity of the attacks.

When we go through traumatic evens in our lives, like when someone close to us dies, we still need to find some way to grieve, without setting the Multiple Sclerosis into a tail-spin or nose-dive into having our MS symptoms spin out of control.

Shutting down our emotions is not a good option either, since this sets us up for having a more extreme period of time of stress when the emotional "dam" breaks all of a sudden, sending a flood of overwhelmed emotions through out our bodies, making the MS stress on our systems even worse, than if we started to deal with it as we went along.

Allowing ourselves to grieve is a healthy, normal reaction to the loss of a loved one or a close friend and is needed for us to say good bye to someone who meant so much to us in our lives.

Death enters everyone's life at some point, but how we deal with the emotions and work through the period of grieving makes a huge difference in how we come out of the trauma on the other side of the event.

I have recently had to deal with this myself, with the loss of a close friend, whom I spoke with on a regular basis over a few years.  I have found that in my own experiences that there are a few things that we can do to help ease the grieving process.

This is not to say that it will be easy to do or not do these things, but to some degree they may help those of us with Multiple Sclerosis to reduce the effects of MS stress on our systems.

My suggestions include the following:

Allow Yourself to Grieve -- don't think that you aren't allowed to grieve, because you are.  We develop meaningful relationships throughout our lives that help give more meaning to our lives.

When these relationships are suddenly broken, through say a death in the family, it takes a period of time to get used to the idea that our loved one won't be around us and be with us, like they were before.

* Pace Yourself When Grieving -- take breaks off and on to allow your nervous system to calm down some, instead of working yourself up to the point where your body has little chance of recovering some.

This means that we need to find a way to take breaks from grieving instead of grieving continuously for long periods of time.

* Start to allow your heart and spirit to heal and recover again -- this is something you do after you have allowed yourself a period of mourning and grieving to work through the shock of it all to your system; do this after a period of time that we have been grieving)

 (If we don't do this, we are setting ourselves up for another MS attack, that is often much worse than it would be other wise.)

It takes time to heal all wounds.  Give yourself the time that you need.  It's okay to grieve when needed.

* Gradually start to add things back into your life that help you to start to live life again -- this may take some time to do this and this may take more time for some people than others.

* Daily give yourself permission -- to both learn from your experience and to get on with living life again. 

* Find a support group -- to help you to find some way for you to talk things out and express the grief and emotions without setting yourself up for more MS attacks and exacerbations.

* Find a counselor to discuss things with -- find a psychologist or other mental health professionals to allow.

* Find ways to de stress and allow your body to sleep at night.  There are both tranquillizers that are prescribed by a doctor or natural remedies that can help to reduce the amount of internal stress that we feel and to help us to be able to relax and go to sleep at night.

If we don't rest more often, for at least 8 hour each night than we are setting ourselves up for having another MS relapse or exacerbation.

Deep breathing exercises or yoga breathing can help us to relax more and be able to calm down and go to sleep more easily, more often, but these should not be relied on for the long term.

It does us no good to stay up at night and worry about things.

Find other family, friends or other acquaintances that have gone through similar experiences before in their lives with losing a loved one that you can get together with off and on to allow you to discuss your feelings and how you are dealing with the loss of a loved one.

* Focus on the good memories that you had with the person that died -- do this instead of focusing so much of your time on the negative memories that may pop into your head periodically.  The memories of your loved one can often help you learn to deal with the grief sooner, than otherwise. 

I hope these tips help you to make it through the grieving process for the loss of a loved one, without causing you any further MS stress and exacerbations.

Talking out all of how you feel with the grief that you are experiencing can make a huge difference on reducing the MS stress can help reduce the stress that you are going through.

It also helps if you can find some one else with Multiple Sclerosis that previously lost a loved one that will describe for you what they went through and how they dealt with it themselves and they worked through the problems that they faced because of having Multiple Sclerosis to deal with also during the grieving process.

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