The MS support groups are full of people who are going through the same thing as you, so they understand and can help.
There are so many online forums and support groups available to people living with MS. I joined a bunch of them when I was first diagnosed. I had never known anyone with MS before my own diagnosis, so I wanted to find that community for myself.
I also look to my family and friends for support closer to home. They have played a major role in helping with my MS journey, and I talk to them about anything that’s playing on my mind.
It’s time to meet people and challenge your MS together!
We asked people with MS about their experiences with MS support groups. Read in their own words about how being a part of an MS support group has empowered them to take control of their MS.
Ask your healthcare team for more information about available MS support groups. You can also find some useful links here.
Being diagnosed with MS may leave you feeling alone, and it can be difficult for your doctor, and even your friends and family, to understand. Support groups provide opportunities to meet people with MS who have had the same thoughts and feelings as you. Sharing knowledge and understanding can help you overcome the challenges of MS together.
Your friends and family won’t always know exactly what you’re going through. But try to explain how you’re feeling to help them better understand.
They will always be an important source of support – and will often be welcome to join you at one of the many support groups available.
For people who have been hesitant about joining a local support group, I can promise you it’s worth it. Feeling the support of others is unparalleled. Take the first step and encourage your family and friends to get involved as well.
MS support groups are as diverse as the people who have MS.
There is no ‘typical’ MS support group. They take many different shapes and forms, including online forums, face-to-face meetings, and social events. They can include everything from seminars on recent research findings, to nights out, workout groups, coffee mornings, charity bike rides, and events. Anything! And if your group doesn’t have an activity you want, then suggest it and start it yourself.
Joining a support group was the best decision of my life. Everyone is so nice, open minded, and a lot of fun, and a ‘moaning-mode’ doesn't exist, it's all about exchange and having fun together. It's not only about MS all the time, we are like friends who meet and talk about everything. But of course, you can also ask questions about MS and listen to stories and experiences of people you know and are close to you. I'm even leading my own support group, and it’s so much fun!
I’m a member of many different online communities, and I really enjoy it as I get to speak to people from all over the world, comparing stories and sharing thoughts. I’m a member of a face-to-face group, too – there’s a large group of us, and we meet up about twice a year and stay in touch via instant messenger.
MS support groups can provide you with a sense of community or simply just provide a place where you can go to talk. I’ve learned so much and found a place to share my problems and be understood.
Partaking in local fundraising events for MS has given me a real sense of community. Seeing so many people congregate in one place for one purpose is overwhelming and inspiring. Not only has it allowed me to meet other people living with MS, but it’s opened my eyes to the massive amount of support we have as well.
As I’ve grown more involved in the MS community, I can’t help but think I’ve also grown as a person. It motivates me to keep going.
Being part of a community is hugely important for everyone…to talk about common issues and share experiences.
Since joining support groups, some amazing people have been brought into my life.
I’m a member of several online communities and have been lucky enough to meet fantastic people with MS at national and international events.
I have developed so many new friendships. After each meeting, we go home feeling stronger and with recharged batteries because we just have such a good time together.
It’s important to exchange experiences. MS is the disease of a thousand faces, and everyone experiences it differently.
If you have an issue, someone will have faced a similar one, and they can give advice and help point you in the right direction to take action and deal with it.
I started my own support group in my town with someone else I knew with MS – now about 15 of us meet up frequently. We even have experts attending, like speech therapists or alternative medicine practitioners, which is great!
When I was first diagnosed at 21, I was discouraged from joining a support group – I felt so alone about the symptoms I was experiencing, and I feared for my future. It took me over a decade to join a support group. Since joining, I’ve appreciated having people around my age who understand the symptoms I’m experiencing and the complexity of making career, relationship and family plans with MS. It’s been nice to have people other than my neurologist to talk to about worries, medication choices, and ways to manage my symptoms.
Support groups help me feel motivated to continue to look after myself and my MS. These groups give me a sense of hope, empowerment, and control of my MS – and they can do this for you, too!
I felt empowered discussing my experiences and knowing that this was helping others. I went from feeling hopeless, to feeling like I was a beacon of hope for someone else.
I would encourage everyone to join support groups and just give them a chance!
My MS nurse told me about the society websites to look up. I then joined them on social media and signed up for their newsletters. Their websites and newsletters included information on upcoming events and activities where I could find the ones near me.
When it comes to finding support with MS, these articles are just the beginning. You’re not alone.