Let’s talk about MS

Sharing the news with partners, family and close friends may help you adapt to the news. But telling people about your diagnosis is a personal decision.


Let's talk about MS


When it comes to living with MS, communication is key.


General tips to help with communication:

  • Choose the right place and time. You may not always get much choice in this, but it is worth making sure that you are able to ensure some privacy and enough time for a good discussion.
  • Consider what you want to say. Think about what you want to get across. Sometimes it helps to make a quick list of your key points; this can be particularly useful before you see your neurologist or MS nurse.
  • Help other people understand MS. There are plenty of free booklets about every aspect of MS available online or from your MS nurse. These can be a very useful way of helping those close to you gain a better understanding of how you are feeling and what you have to cope with.
  • Be specific. The person you’re talking to won’t be able to guess what you are trying to say.
  • Be patient. It can take time to come to terms with MS and the impact it may have. Try to keep in mind that each family member, friend or colleague may react differently.


Talking with friends

Sharing feelings openly can be helpful; however, you may want to take some time to think about who you disclose your diagnosis to.

  • You may not wish to tell casual friends or acquaintances or those in your workplace, especially soon after diagnosis.
  • Some people will respond with understanding, and some may provide much appreciated practical and emotional support, while others may not respond as well.
  • Start with a simple explanation of the disease and how it’s affecting you at this time.
  • Because MS is such a complex disease, you may feel more comfortable talking about it once you’ve had a chance to learn more yourself.


Talking with your healthcare team

  • You will likely have many questions for your healthcare team, especially in the first years following diagnosis. Preparing in advance for your appointment will help you and your doctor make the most of your time together. Keeping a health and lifestyle diary is a great way to do this. Keep track of:
    • New or worsening symptoms
    • An up-to-date list of any medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking including dosage and side effects
    • Any substantial changes you have made to your diet, physical activity levels or lifestyle
    • Any questions you may have


You are not required to disclose your diagnosis to your employer unless you are asking for a job accommodation.


Before you disclose any information about your MS or symptoms to your employer or colleagues:

  • Find out about your rights concerning disclosure.
  • Consider the consequences of making your diagnosis public.
  • Learn about various job accommodations.
  • Seek emotional support and technical advice from your adveva team and other people with MS via your local chapter of the MS Society of Canada.




Understanding MS

Understanding MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord. MS is believed to be caused by faulty cells of the immune system.












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