Half of all people with MS will experience depression at some time in their life. This is three times higher than for the general population. This partly comes from MS damaging nerves in the brain, and partly  from living with a complex disease.

We would encourage you to book an appointment with your GP to talk about your mood if you are concerned. They are best placed to help you manage how you are feeling and there are number of options including talking treatments or antidepressants and in many cases a combination of both can be exceedingly effective.

Key Signs of feeling depressed are:

Constantly feeling down or hopeless
Having little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy

Other possible signs are:

Sleeping problems – too much, or too little irritability or restlessness
Feeling tired all the time, or a general loss of energy
Feeling empty and/or lonely
Feeling bad about yourself or things you have done
Losing or gaining weight
Problems with concentration
Reduced sex drive
Thinking about death a lot
Thoughts of harming yourself

Need some additional support? Other services here to help:

  • Lifeline: counselling service 0800 543354
  • Depression helpline: 0800 111757
  • Anxiety line:  0800 2694389
  • The Lowdown: 0800 111757 /  text 5626
  • 1737 Need to talk: text 1737
  • Youth Line 0800 376633 / web-chat here.

Embracing flexibility is key to navigating life with MS. Focus on exploring new things and finding joy in what you can do rather than focussing on limitations. Over time, you’ll discover how to incorporate MS into your life without it taking over. While it may be hard to believe early after diagnosis, this balance can be achieved with time.

Openly discussing MS with those around you, including your medical team, can be beneficial. Support groups provide an opportunity to share experiences and connect with others facing similar challenges. Seeking guidance from counsellors and mental health professionals can help you develop effective coping strategies. Additionally, maintaining social connections and seeking support from friends, family and Whānau is important.

Explore our Support Services