Stigma increases risk of depression in patients with multiple sclerosis

The stigma associated with Multiple Sclerosis can increase the risk of depression in the patients. This makes it important that patients have a support system of friends and family, as well as a sense of independence.

Findings published in the journal Social Science & Medicine

In fact the study says that people living with MS who reported higher levels of stigma are more likely to be clinically depressed.

About 50% of people with MS will have depression during their lifetime compared to 17% of the general public, but the causes of these high rates of depression in MS was not well understood until now. The study identifies stigma as a key factor. By stigma, one means the experience of being set apart and seen as less than others.

Signs of MS include motor impairment, visual problems, fatigue, pain, speech problems and cognitive difficulties. Having stronger social bonds can create a psychological support that can help reduce some of these negative feelings.

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