How can somebody encourage a loved one to get back in touch with MS services?

I’m asked that question quite a few times in a year – 'how do I help my loved one get engaged?' The first thing I say is don’t get into conflict, don’t cause an argument, don’t stress because the minute you cause conflict – I don’t know about you – but if somebody tells me they want me to do something and I don’t want to do it, I’m likely to dig my heels in and do the exact opposite of what somebody wants me to do. Have a conversation with them – not in a conversation that says ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’, but say 'what is it you’re worried about?', 'what makes you anxious?', 'why is it you don't want to engage?'. It might be that it fatigues them so much that when they go to the appointment they've forgotten everything they want to say. Well, this can be overcome. Dr Anita Rose, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

We know that there are people out there with MS who aren’t in services. Sometimes that reason has been disillusionment, sometimes a feeling that nothing good can be done, but we know that lots of them have families who would quite like them to be in touch with MS services. For a large number of people, one of the ways of coping with MS is to have a head in the sand approach. If you know someone like that, and you are their friend or family, reminding them that things have changed might be good way of getting them back in touch. We know that people leave services for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s a bad experience, a relationship that doesn’t work. We’d be keen to try and get some of those people back into the fold. Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

It might take time, but gentle encouragement and understanding what the issues are will help you help them engage. Dr Anita Rose, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the immune system. Your immune system is meant to be there to fight off bugs and viruses, but it can make mistakes, and one of the tissues that it can attack if it makes mistakes is the brain and spinal cord. Multiple sclerosis is essentially a disease where, for some reason, your immune system attacks your own brain and spinal cord. That can create problems anywhere in the nervous system, and therefore can create symptoms in anything that nerves do, so we can see problems with eyesight, feeling, control with bladder and bowel, or thinking and memory. Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

"If you know someone and you are their friend or family, I think reminding them that things have changed might be a good way of getting them back in touch."
Dr Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

The 1MSg campaign is initiated and funded by Biogen

Phone: +44 1628 501000

Fax: +44 1628 501010

e-mail: 1MSg@biogen.com

BI-PAN-0437l
April 2018