Personality aspects in multiple sclerosis

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Postby TwistedHelix » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:39 am

Yes, Terry, that other thread got a bit heated, didn't it? I believe there is an enormous gulf between the phrases "caused by the mind", and, "all in the mind" but a lot of people hear the first phrase and assume it means the second.
It's really difficult to find a suitable analogy, but this is the best I can do: suppose you have a big event coming up like a wedding, with months of preparation to be done. It's a happy time, and you might not feel stressed out, but gradually you notice a feeling of exhaustion, tension in your neck, and a niggling headache.
In this case it would not be unreasonable to say that "your mind" caused the headache, because of your body's automatic reaction to the slight tension you're feeling at a mental and emotional level. The headache is real and could never be dismissed as "all in your mind"; the cause of it is physical muscular tension, but the ultimate trigger is emotion.
As I said, not a good example because the muscular tension is superficial, obvious, and easy to treat, but supposing similar experiences in your early life cause some equally physical, but far more insidious, biochemical change? It doesn't have to be a tale of endless misery and rejection either: a perfectly happy child who is, say, competitive, may have a body which responds inappropriately to the constant, low level drip of adrenalin et al which constitutes a driven personality. If the child then experiences health problems later in life because of this, wouldn't it be fair to say that personality played a role?
Just to be clear: not in your mind but because of it; not under your control, and most definitely not your fault.

Bob, I'm sure we'll all be thinking of you next Wednesday. Bladder stones sound as if they'd be really painful so I'm sure it'll feel great to get rid of them.
By the way, I don't believe all this bullshit about only being fit for dog food, we've seen your video remember, and you looked annoyingly young and healthy then. See you at base camp!
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Postby Thomas » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:13 am

If a physician said to me "It's all in your mind", either just to get rid of me or as a medico-philosophical attitude, I would find a new physician (unless this physician was an actual Buddha of course!). And the same if a physician said that the mind has nothing to do with my physical symptoms and my health, which to me is equally dogmatic thinking on the opposite side of the spectrum.

The physician should see me as a whole person, with a complex cause-and-effect-relationship between body and mind, a family, a social life, interests, a history, good qualities and qualities that can be improved and this physician will understand that all this is part of me and makes me who I am and she will investigate all these factors to come to the best possible treatment for my problems.

We shouldn't allow dogmatic physicians tell us that we are less than full human beings!
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Postby Lyon » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:28 pm

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Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:29 am

Terry wrote:Drugs, drinking, sports, general risk-taking behavior....some (not all) of those things fit my youth, but as I said, I was a teen in the 70's. If those things predisposed me to MS, then my entire graduating high school class should be on here. They are not.


I don't know if that's true. People are different and have different responses to stimuli, both emotionally, psychologically and physiologically so something that provokes a certain response in one person may have a totally different effect, or none at all, on another person.
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Postby Terry » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:14 pm

How did your surgery go yesterday, Bob?
I noticed that you didn't post. How are you feeling today?
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Postby Lyon » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:27 pm

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Postby TwistedHelix » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:24 am

Bob, welcome to the Catheter Club! I've had a Foley in for over four years now and it does gradually get easier, although your week-long trial membership might not give it enough of a chance. I'm glad you got the operation over with, though.
On the very first day that I had one fitted I ended up having to go to hospital for what seemed like a catastrophic relapse. Everyone assumed it was the MS, but I have since come to the conclusion that it may have been dysreflexia. This is quite usual in people with spinal cord injuries, (and I suppose lesions count as such), who have strong stimulation of the bladder or bowel. It can be extreme or even fatal, but in my case forced me to spend nine months in rehab where I made some wonderful friends, and gave me the leverage to sort out a good care package, so I sometimes look on it as a positive thing.
I have it changed every three months and it can sometimes be really painful. Some of the nurses who do it were being far too quick, and I found out that they weren't giving the Instillagel, (a combined lubricant and local anaesthetic), long enough to work – it should be allowed a minimum of six minutes to take effect – so if anyone is in the same position, make sure they leave the gel in place for long enough!
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