Sunday, November 14, 2010 witedazee, Community Member, asks

Q: Do patients with MS have dramatic mood swings?

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Answers (5)
Lisa Emrich, Health Guide
11/16/10 10:53am

Hi witedazee,

 

Yes, patients with MS can have dramatic mood swings.  They can also be moody and depressed.  These are common and do need to be addressed.  I take an antidepressant which helps tremendously.

 

Patients with MS can also experience emotional lability or pseudobulbar affect which is characterized by situation inappropriate emotions, such as laughing or crying for not apparent reason.  A new treatment has just been FDA approved for this condition.

 

If an MS patient is experiencing any of the above, then he/she should discuss it with their doctor who can help.  Also, a loved one or caregiver could also mention to the doctor that the MS patient is experiencing these things.

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witedazee, Community Member
8/21/12 3:16pm

Thank you, would you please tell me how it affects cognitive skills too, please. Can it get to the point that there is not a consciousness when it comes to right and wrong? Thanks, Liz

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Lisa Emrich, Health Guide
8/21/12 5:58pm

MS can cause changes in the brain which can then may cause cognitive and behavioral changes in the person.  It is important to be evaluated.  Whether someone can't distinguish right from wrong is perhaps a legal question.  Basically, it would be important to seek the guidance of a medical (mental health care) professional.

 

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Oliver, Community Member
10/31/13 10:45pm

Hello,

 

I have been suffering from Depression/PTSD due to the sudden loss of my parents many years ago. At first I thought I was just sad and was able to push myself, but over time I developed sleepnessess, sadness, weightloss, etc.

 

In the last year, just after my first real physical break down at work, I also met a very nice, highly intelligent and very attractive young woman from Brazil who was working at the NIH in Rockville while obtaining her Post-doctorate. Within 5 months I developed I high degree of emotional attachment to her (is that what love is...). She had MS and told me right up front. SHe also told me her case was very very mild (She was diagnosed at 21 and at the time when I met her was 26) and that her doctor told her that so far the prognosis looks very good. She was not on medication per his advice.

 

She went back to Brazil and invited me. I was very tempted, but again my PTSD struck hard (I was erroneoulsy prescribed Prozac) and I lashed out. I was convinced she was leaving and did not want me. I called her and told her I would end my life. Then I asked for a break which I really did not want. It was all very irrational, but my fear was simply too much. I feared for my life. I was convinced she was going to die...I projected my fear onto her.

 

A day later she said she was done with me and that I did not really love her, but simply did not want to be alone. My fear and anxiety went into overdrive and I kept obsessively trying to explain my fears. She refused to listen and cut me off only to get engaged to someone else two months later.

 

I am careful to blame MS or my PTSD on everything, but could the MS have affected her ability to listen? Could she have also feared the same as I did? That I really did not love her?

 

I know all of this might sound odd, but no one could really give an answer?

 

SHe told me to stay away from her and even wentsofar to go to the police. I am disgusted by how this PTSD has affected my judgement and stressed her to the point where she felt she had to cut me off.

 

I know she does not wish to be contacted, but how do I handle this? Did the MS have anything to do with her sudden and aprupt ending of the relationship?

 

She indicated just a few weeks prior that she cared for me a great deal (she never said the word love) and wanted me to go with her. I am confused. How much of this is "normal" relationship "drama" and how much of this is scewed by the MS as well as the PTSD.

 

I did read that MS can cause mood swings even in "mild" cases. However, I also do not want to blame everything on her disease and thereby disrespect her ability to make choices.

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Oliver, Community Member
10/31/13 11:17pm

Oh, I should also note that she got engaged just two months after she ended the relationship with me.

 

One of the reasons I was highly attracted to her was her commitment to following through on her word. I am truly ashamed that I did not recgonize the symptoms of my depression earlier esp. since I had seen in my own family just years before.

 

In some ways I think her MS also made her the person she was. She told me that she also had her first diagnosis after she overstrained herself during her studies. In response she adjusted her behavior and became who she was.

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Oliver, Community Member
10/31/13 10:46pm

Hello,

 

I have been suffering from Depression/PTSD due to the sudden loss of my parents many years ago. At first I thought I was just sad and was able to push myself, but over time I developed sleepnessess, sadness, weightloss, etc.

 

In the last year, just after my first real physical break down at work, I also met a very nice, highly intelligent and very attractive young woman from Brazil who was working at the NIH in Rockville while obtaining her Post-doctorate. Within 5 months I developed I high degree of emotional attachment to her (is that what love is...). She had MS and told me right up front. SHe also told me her case was very very mild (She was diagnosed at 21 and at the time when I met her was 26) and that her doctor told her that so far the prognosis looks very good. She was not on medication per his advice.

 

She went back to Brazil and invited me. I was very tempted, but again my PTSD struck hard (I was erroneoulsy prescribed Prozac) and I lashed out. I was convinced she was leaving and did not want me. I called her and told her I would end my life. Then I asked for a break which I really did not want. It was all very irrational, but my fear was simply too much. I feared for my life. I was convinced she was going to die...I projected my fear onto her.

 

A day later she said she was done with me and that I did not really love her, but simply did not want to be alone. My fear and anxiety went into overdrive and I kept obsessively trying to explain my fears. She refused to listen and cut me off only to get engaged to someone else two months later.

 

I am careful to blame MS or my PTSD on everything, but could the MS have affected her ability to listen? Could she have also feared the same as I did? That I really did not love her?

 

I know all of this might sound odd, but no one could really give an answer?

 

SHe told me to stay away from her and even wentsofar to go to the police. I am disgusted by how this PTSD has affected my judgement and stressed her to the point where she felt she had to cut me off.

 

I know she does not wish to be contacted, but how do I handle this? Did the MS have anything to do with her sudden and aprupt ending of the relationship?

 

She indicated just a few weeks prior that she cared for me a great deal (she never said the word love) and wanted me to go with her. I am confused. How much of this is "normal" relationship "drama" and how much of this is scewed by the MS as well as the PTSD.

 

I did read that MS can cause mood swings even in "mild" cases. However, I also do not want to blame everything on her disease and thereby disrespect her ability to make choices.

Reply
Marie, Community Member
11/16/10 9:36am

YES! Hi, my name is Marie. My husband has had MS for 9 years now. If he is not on his anti depressants he has very bad mood swings. He gets very angry and down right nasty to everyone. We just had an instance that he did not take them for 3 weeks and OMG...he was absolutely horrible. Two weeks back on them and he was his sweet self again. I'm not a doctor just a wife with a husband with MS. But yes I can say from experience the answer is yes. I also had a father with MS that had very bad mood swings to the point that he would get violent. Just be careful. and All the best to you!!....Marie

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11/16/10 9:11pm

Yes. At least for me. Reading the two above replies from Marie and Lisa is tremendously helpful!  I have definitely gotten crazier since my diagnosis in May, 2010 and often experience mood swings.  At first I thought it was just stress but I have come to realize that it's related to my MS. I will now consider discussing meds with my support partner and my neuro doc.  Thanks!

 

Best,

Christie 

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corey, Community Member
8/21/12 2:42pm

I am currently a husband of someone with ms. Unfortunately going through a divorce. For the six weeks leading up to an incident where she had to much to drink and hit me where the worst time (up to that point) in my life. She would constantly accuse me of doing things I didnt do and become angry about something that happend 20 minutes about when she was ok about it 20 minutes ago. At first she could go a couple of days with out an outburst. Called me a loser and worthless, constantly telling me that she hated me and screamed curse words at me. I never took it well and usually argued back with her and told her that I felt trapped and that she made me feel like killing myself. Well after she hit me and fell down mutiple times trying to get to me (giving her scrapes and bruises), a couple of days went by and when I went to work she made a false police report saying that I threw her against the window. I never touched her. is this common behavior for someone with MS?

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Lisa Emrich, Health Guide
8/21/12 5:43pm

Hi Corey (Jacob?)

 

I'm sorry to hear that the relationship with your wife has been difficult.  It is not common behavior for someone with MS to behave in such a manner.  Whether it is common for someone who has been affected cognitively with MS, I don't really know.  Emotions and behavior are so personal. 

 

Sounds like you should work to protect yourself and getting a divorce may be one way to do that.  You might also want to talk to a counsellor to discuss how dealing with all of this has affected you.  Perhaps you might see if you could persuade your wife to get help as well.

 

I hope that things get better for you.  Keep your calm and stay safe.

 

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jacob, Community Member
8/21/12 2:44pm

I am currently a husband of someone with ms. Unfortunately going through a divorce. For the six weeks leading up to an incident where she had to much to drink and hit me where the worst time (up to that point) in my life. She would constantly accuse me of doing things I didnt do and become angry about something that happend 20 minutes about when she was ok about it 20 minutes ago. At first she could go a couple of days with out an outburst. Called me a loser and worthless, constantly telling me that she hated me and screamed curse words at me. I never took it well and usually argued back with her and told her that I felt trapped and that she made me feel like killing myself. Well after she hit me and fell down mutiple times trying to get to me (giving her scrapes and bruises), a couple of days went by and when I went to work she made a false police report saying that I threw her against the window. I never touched her. is this common behavior for someone with MS?

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corey, Community Member
8/24/12 2:08pm

I think I had forgotten to mention. My soon to be ex. (as sad as it is) hadnt taken her copaxone for 30 to 45 days straight. She is a medical marijuana patient also. She has gone to a doctor and was prescribed Effexor, then Valium. She discontinued both. Could this all lead to increases in violent behaviours?

 

Is it possible that someone in this situation to project their flaws and short comings onto their undeserving partners? Is what I mean for a specific example; She keeps telling people that I am the one with a problem and needs help. I can and have admitted to my counseler in March that if im not with my wife I dont need counseling. I needed it to help deal with her abusive behaviour. Wish I would have learned that people with MS tend to lack empathy long before I gave my heart to her.

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By witedazee, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/31/13, First Published: 11/14/10