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Stress

Hi everyone

I am at a crossroads in my condition at the minute where as the stress of me losing my job because i am taking a lot of time off due to infections is taking its toll on my ms. Is there any advice out there of how best to deal with it.

Dear Eric, welcome to planet Progressive MS, it's so easy to say chill when you are worried BUT living isn't easy even without MS!  Do you have all your allowances sorted?

When I'n really stressed I force myself to think 'this too will pass', BUT easy it is notheartEveryone here is managing to survive most of the time,  We are mad gang and cooltake care M

 

Hi Eric, welcome to the site if you are new on here. 

I'm not sure if you have already lost your job or in the process of losing it, but I can tell you now that your employer is breaking the law. As a person with MS you are protected by law and your employer has to do all in their power to make sure you are able to continue employment... by making 'reasonable adjustments'. This can mean reducing your hours or giving you a position that is less stressful. 

If still in the process of losing your job you need to get legal advice now. If in a union, see a shop steward, otherwise make appointment with local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Here is the info. See particularly 'reasonable adjustments':

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/Employmentsupport/SupportWhileInWork/DG_4000382

In terms of stress, well it's such a hard one. I feel that we are in a 'catch 22' situation. MS lesions in the brain can muck about with our emotions, so lots of us with MS find ourselves feeling very emotional and unable to handle stress. At the same time stress actually makes our symptoms worse... so it appears we are stuck in this trap of 'over-reacting' to situations and then making our symptoms worse!

But all is not lost. I think there is a way to deal with all this... to an extent. I think it's a case of really changing our attitude to life. I've made huge efforts the past few years to change the way I look at the world. I care a whole lot less about what people think of me. I don't worry if there are dishes sitting in the sink. I've learned to say 'no' to anything I don't want to do (when I can!). I've just kind of looked at a lot of my attitudes and changed them. I've learned to only think of today and not worry about tomorrow and I stop myself in my tracks when I start thinking about the past with either regret or longing. It's gone. It's over. As for tomorrow... well it might not come. And that's actually true for every human being on the planet.

I'm not saying I've completely got the hang of this. I still get caught up in feeling guilty because I can't do something or feeling depressed because my mobility is so limited... but it is 'a work in progress'... always trying to catch myself thinking these things and forcing myself back into the 'now' and dropping the stress and guilt. It is easier said than done, but certainly worth thinking about how you could change your attitudes and drop some of this stuff.

There used to be a belief in an 'MS type' (in fact I think some people still believe in this). That it was highly independent, intellegent (!), ambitious people who got MS. I'm not sure if any research has been done on it, but I think there might be some truth in it. Anyway, true or not, if you were a person who always took control in your life and enjoyed achievement, then MS can be extremely hard. Really means letting to of a lot of those attitudes. Hard, but can be done.

The other thing that's helped me recently has been going on Amitriptyline. It's given to people with MS to help with pain and sensory problems (sorry if you already know this), but is actually an anti-depressant that sort of dampens down the nervous system. I'm taking it for pain but actually I've found my mood has improved a lot and I'm not feeling so stress. For instance I used to wake up in the morning always feeling angry about something and sort of having a fantasy argument in my head with someone (over things really silly). That has stopped since I've been on Ami.

So would certainly be worth your while giving it a try if you're not on it already. It would be worth seeing your GP anyway and seeing what help he/she can offer. CBT (Cognitive Behavour Therapy) can help a lot with stress. It's not sitting talking for hours about your childhood, but teaches you ways of coping with stress right here and now.

Anyway... apologies for waffling on... LOL... but I hope you find some of this useful. But really please get some legal advice about losing your job. And if you have already lost your job, please see CAB anyway to make sure you are getting all the benefits you should. 

Take care,

Pat x happy2

Hi Eric

Pat is so right about it being a "catch 22" problem, as I like to think that

before ms I was a person in control of my emotions and stress, but not now,

and stress is a trigger.

 

I do try to talk to myself (not out loud, in my head, if you know what I mean)

about not getting stressed, and also I find deep breathing helps, but it ain't

easy.

 

This forum is a godsend, I hope it will be of help to you, take care

Pam x

 

Inactive user

My own mother stresses me out every day and is always more concerened with hersellf confused In cant wait till I get the chance to move out as I really really don't feel comfertable here letdown

Inactive user

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.

Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do.

Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.

You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.

You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness.

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called "fight or flight" response.

Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you're constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.

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