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Friday, October 30, 2015
MS and Depression: Tips for Mental Fitness
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
When you have MS, your emotions are in play. While having MS raises your chances of having depression, knowing that fact -- and being aware -- can help you try to prevent it and get treatment. Protect yourself with healthy habits.
Get moving. When it comes to MS treatment, exercise is a two-for-one. Being active improves MS symptoms -- like fatigue and bladder problems -- and improves your mood, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "It's essential," she says.
Many people with MS say they feel better after walking, swimming, and biking. Before working out, talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise is good for you.
Relax. Kicking back in front of the TV likely isn’t enough. Try to relaxconsciously -- set aside time for it.
"I think it’s especially hard for people, especially women, to be in the moment," says Cindy Richman, senior director at the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. "Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other approaches can help with that." Taking breaks works too, she says. “Read a few lines of a poem. Write in a journal. Go smell the flowers in your garden."
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