Coping with strong emotions
You might feel a range of emotions if your parent has MS, and it helps not to hide or deny them. When talking with the parent who has MS, it helps to explain how you feel and why: "I feel afraid because I don't understand some of the symptoms and complications of MS - can you help explain a few things to me?" This kind of question directs your fear where it belongs - at your parent's condition - and not at the parent who happens to have it. The opposite approach (feeling afraid and taking it out as anger) doesn't help you or your parent.
You should also understand and try to cope with other emotions such as sadness, confusion, or frustration. Mull them over in your own mind for as long as you need to until they seem clearer, and then talk to someone about them. If talking to a parent is hard, perhaps another adult would be a good listener. For example, try talking to a family friend, school counselor or teacher, a youth group leader, or your family doctor.
A few suggestions below could help make life more manageable. Some you can do on your own, while others might need your parent's help.
Stay connected. Cell phones can give you some freedom and also give your parent a way to contact you in case of an emergency. Both you and your parent will feel more relaxed if you stay connected for the "just in case" situations.
Stick to the program. Schedule household chores and set up a family calendar on the refrigerator so that household tasks are distributed fairly. Rotate the jobs so that each person has a variety of things to do.
Reach out and ask for help. Feeling overwhelmed? If your parent's needs seem unmanageable or if you feel your parent is depressed (depression is sometimes linked to MS as a result of the condition), ask other family members or counselors for help.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Tips-For-Caregivers