Blog Series: My MS Stands For….Mood Swings

Laughing, crying, screaming. Happy, sad, emotional, indifferent. These are all natural moods and responses to situations in life. But, when you experience several or all of these in a matter of hours or at the wrong time, therein lies what is called Mood Swings.

Multiple Sclerosis effects the Central Nervous system, the “processing center” for your entire nervous system. I like to think of it as insulation missing from a phone charger. You likely wouldn’t want to use a cord with exposed wire for fear of being electrocuted. And if you do, the charge would not be consistent; it would be interrupted. Well, that is what the brain of a person with Multiple Sclerosis looks like. The “insulation” or Myelin is missing in multiple parts of the brain.  And as result, the neuro transmission is interrupted, or inconsistent.

A person with a healthy brain is able to decipher emotions and respond accordingly. Not so much when you have MS. It sometimes can feel like a 100-piece symphony orchestra in your brain and as an overly exhausted conductor, you have to direct the strings, woodwind, brass and percussion, while trying to pick up the music sheets that you just dropped.  In a panic, you’re trying to queue the right instrument (mood) that’s supposed to be playing, but you’re so confused and overwhelmed that you randomly just pick one.  

Next thing you know, you’re crying when you wanted to laugh and laughing when you should be crying (which by the way has happened to me. Imagine laughing when you’re told that a close family friend just died. Wrong INSTRUMENT!).

When overwhelmed with exhaustion, do you feel as though you ‘re out of control? As though your emotions are running the show?
Family and friends may become annoyed and feel hopeless as to what to do.  While there are medications that can help to heal the Myelin (consult your doctor) fatigue and exhaustion or extreme changes in weather can exacerbate the condition.

So, the next time you experience mood swings as a result of your MS, how about you take that as a queue to sit down, rest and quiet the “band”? 

I want to know? How do you cope with mood swings?

LaQuita Davis