How to Build a Personal Multiple Sclerosis Support Network

By Kerry Weiss
August 09, 2022

All of the knowns and unknowns of multiple sclerosis (MS) make it a difficult condition to cope with. For starters, there’s the variety of symptoms caused by the neurological disease. Symptoms may come and go, and there’s no way to predict how the disease may progress, since no two people experience it the same way.

Also, it’s normal to feel grief or a sense of loss when you have MS, says Emily Smith, a licensed clinical social worker and manager of case management for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). This is especially common “when trying to grasp a new diagnosis, or when there is disease progression, or changes such as loss of mobility, or changes to employment.”

Establishing a multiple sclerosis support network can help—no matter what challenge you're facing. “Often people think of the physical symptoms related to MS, but the cognitive and psychosocial [effects] can be just as impactful, so it’s important to tend to those symptoms, as well,” Smith says.