Despite efforts to spread awareness and educate people about Multiple Sclerosis, there is still an unacceptable amount of misunderstanding, misinformation and stigma surrounding the disease. There are now more than 100,000 with Multiple Sclerosis in the UK but many people still don’t have a basic understanding of the condition.
Our infographic aims to help people who don’t have Multiple Sclerosis to understand the disease including things they should know as well as dos and don’ts. At the same time, it dispels some of the common myths about multiple sclerosis and highlights the realities of living with the disease. Please share it with friends, family and colleagues and help raise awareness.
If you are using a screen-reader, the following text is featured in our Multiple Sclerosis Infographic
Do know that MS is a part of who I am but not who I am.
I am an individual with many interesting things about me. I also have MS. Try not to ignore or overemphasize my MS when you interact with me.
Do know that MS is different for everyone.
MS is not a single, specific disease but a collection of unpredictable symptoms that affects each person differently & varies in individuals over time.
Do know that although there is no cure for MS, it can be treated.
Although MS is chronic, treatments are available that can control symptoms, reduce flare-ups & slow the progression of the disease.
Don’t assume that I am lazy.
Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. It is also one of the most challenging and misunderstood. Please understand that I am not lazy & more sleep does not help with fatigue.
Don’t assume that because I have MS, I can’t work.
I can still work if I choose to with MS. With milder forms, it is possible to carry on day-to-day activities with little need for medical care. 25% of people with MS are still working 20 years after diagnosis.
Don’t be overprotective because I have MS.
I can still do many things with MS. I also know my limits. Please don’t patronise or pity me. If you want to know more, ask me. Open communication can help prevent misunderstandings.
Do know that women with MS can have children.
Women with MS can have children. MS doesn’t increase the risk of infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, or labour problems.
Do know that MS is not contagious.
MS is not contagious or directly inherited. Studies do suggest that some genetic & environmental factors increase the risk of developing MS.
Do know that you can get MS at any age.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. However, young children, teenagers, & the elderly can also develop MS.
Don’t assume that I can’t live a full and active life with MS.
MS is not a fatal disease. Most people with MS have normal or near normal life expectancy.
Don’t assume that because I have MS, I will need a wheelchair.
Although MS is a potentially disabling disease, most people will not need a walking aid or wheelchair to get around. Even if they do, they can still be productive & happy.
Don’t assume that we know what causes MS.
The cause of MS is unknown. We do know that the myelin sheath – the covering around the nerve fibres in the Central Nervous System is affected.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks for their invaluable input into this MS etiquette guide to Barbara Stensland (Twitter) who writes the fantastic Stumbling in Flats blog about her experiences living with MS and Abigail Budd (Twitter) who writes brilliantly about life with MS over at Budding Communications.
Please help dispel some of the myths and raise awareness by sharing our MS etiquette guide. For more information on MS visit http://www.ms-uk.org or www.mssociety.org.uk/. If you have any questions or want to talk to our team of experts about multiple sclerosis life insurance then give us a call on 01275 404268 or get a quote.
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