Living With MS

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Living With MS

Information to help you manage aspects of life with MS.

Life with MS

The time surrounding diagnosis can be a difficult and emotional period. Prior to diagnosis, there can be a lot of frustration due to unexplainable symptoms. You may have gone to the doctors with something you think can be treated easily. Instead, a long agonising wait and a batch of tests confirm MS. You may have put ‘multiple sclerosis’ into an internet search engine and read lots of information that may have increased your anxiety. You may also have done this all on your own and now are now wondering who to turn to for support.

Discovering that you have MS can give rise to many feelings. Some people are shocked or angered, wondering how and why they are affected. Some feel relieved that they know why they have been unwell and are able to start dealing with it. Some deny that they have MS and try to carry on as if nothing needs to be addressed.

All these feelings are normal; it is part of coming to terms with the diagnosis. Go with the feelings and take your time to let your diagnosis settle in your head. However, many of these feelings and reactions can be damaging in the long run so at some stage you may need to find a way to accept your MS and decide how you can manage it. This process may take weeks, months or for some, years.

Coming to terms 

Coming to terms with your MS can be helped by getting the right information and talking to your partner, family or friends. Some people seek help from professional organisations like MS Ireland, rely on their healthcare team or seek help through counselling.

People will react differently to the diagnosis; some may wish to find out everything about the condition and talk about it straight away. Others may wish to spend time alone to take time to accept the diagnosis before they ask questions or talk to anyone. Whatever your reaction, it is important to realise that you are not alone; there are many people around to support you.

When your MS is diagnosed, your neurologist, MS nurse or neurology team will be able to answer many of your questions and give you appropriate information. They may also refer you to other healthcare professionals in the hospital or your community. They may also put you in touch with MS Ireland. We provide many individual and group support for people with MS and their families. Both your neurology team and MS Ireland can help you to manage the effects of your MS now and in the future.

The section below will help you manage aspects of life with MS.


In this video, Neurologist, Dr Karen O’Connell answers some of the most frequently googled questions from people in Ireland about MS.

Olivia and Fam


We follow Olivia Kirwan, a mother living with MS, and her family throughout the day. We see how Olivia balances family, household and energy levels while living with MS.