Wednesday, May 06, 2009 Carmen, Community Member, asks

Q: MS and personality changes

I used to be a very "in control" person.  Now since MS, I have become a "cry baby" every time I have to express emotions.  This is embarassing and has limited my social life and my job (used to be a correctional officer).  Yes, I know frontal lobe damage may have caused this...fine, but what can a visit to a neurologist change?  Caqn he/she undo the damage? or just leave me drugged up?

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Answers (4)
Diane J Standiford, Community Member
5/ 7/09 11:02am

Well, I read a lot of papers on this before answering and there are many ideas about this part of MS. The NMSS http://www.nationalmssociety.org/index.aspx site, is also a bit vague. Since living with MS can cause us all to change, dealing with a chronic/progressive illness with no cure can DO that to a person, we often get depressed, cry a lot, get angry more than when we were A-OK, you get the idea---so, what will be done for you? I would say the choice is yours and will depend on what brance of medicine the Dr. you see is attached to. Maybe your thyroid can be medicated, maybe anti-depressants will be suggested, a naturopath may talk of herbs/yoga/meditation...but cure this emotional state you are now in? My opinion is no, there is no cure and my advice is to learn to love and respect the new you. It may seem you are no longer in control, but focus on all you CAN still control OR think of "control" in a new way---I too am a controller, keep a shield around my emotions, but now I see that wasn't as important as I once thought. Certainly a cop or corrections officer would need control, but you are a new person and that isn't a bad thing; in fact it is a new beginning and how many people get that chance in life?  Learn about the steps of grieving, you must go through them to grieve the loss of the Carmen you knew.

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imaquilter, Community Member
5/ 7/09 5:00pm

I have had MS since 1979.  I too was "in control" as an administrative secretary.  I would cry at just about anything.  My doctor put me on Zoloft 100 mg.  It doesn't drug me up and I can go through the day without crying if someone looked at me.  The only side effect is when my parents died, I couldn't cry.  I needed to but couldn't.  I guess if that is the only side effect I get then I'll live with it.

Shirley

 

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imaquilter, Community Member
5/ 7/09 5:05pm

I have lived with MS since 1979.  I too was "in control" as an administrative secretary for a large company.  I would cry if anyone looked at me.  My doctor put me on Zoloft 100mg.  It doesn't "drug" me up.  Sometimes I get sleepy, but I can go through the day "normal"  The only side effect I don't like is when my parents dies I couldn't cry.  I needed to cry to release the tension but could'nt.  If that is the only bad side effect, I can live with it.

Shirlehy

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Wake Me When It's Over, Community Member
5/11/09 1:36am

Hi Carmen,

 

This might sound crazy, but it's helped me.  I too have the "cry baby" thing and I just recently found a way to cope.  There are a few movies (Steal Magnolias, The Notebook, P.S. I Love You and Terms of Endearment) that ALWAYS make me cry, no matter how many times I see them.  I watch these movies at night or on the weekend if I am feeling stressed and allow myself a really good, snot-drooling, cry.  The next morning I feel great.  I was put on Zoloft as well, and it made me giggle at inappropriate times, talk like a magpie, and my mother told me I was scaring her, because my personality was changing.

 

The movie thing might not be right for you, but there are things you can try.  A therapist or perhaps even a hypnotist could be an avenue to explore.  They can help you to redirect your emotion to a more socially acceptable form of expression.

 

Personally, I think tears are the most honest form of communication out there.  People can easily fake a smile or other expression, but tears can be much harder to fake.  Honest communication is a beautiful thing!

 

Best wishes!

Becky/Wake me when it over

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Frankie, Community Member
6/14/10 8:35am

Hello, I have some questions and maybe you guys might help.  I am married and my wife has MS.  She has managed her MS with diet and I must say it is going very well.  However, for quite some time I have been trying to get to the bottom of he behaviour.  Being newly married I thought that we were going through what all new couples go through, but now I suspect something might be wrong.  I will list them without going into detail.  Maybe you can guide me in the right direction.

1. sudden mood swings

2. bursts of anger and complaints of fatigue

3. wierd accusations

4. episodes of depression and then happiness

 

These are a few, right now I am the reason she is not happy and I dont believe this.  She is blaming me and our marriage.  Puts me in scenerios that I cannot change or fix.  I am a good husband although I have my flaws and have made my mistakes ( not Serious). I will give you an example.  She got extremely angry at me and told me I wasnt suppotive because I didn't leave work early and was stuck in traffic. I calmly explained to her, but she remained upset for a few days and nothing could shake her. 

 

I guess I am looking for some direction

 

Regards,

 

Frankie

 

 

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Wake Me When It's Over, Community Member
6/14/10 10:00pm

Hi Frankie.  Sorry I can't give you a quick answer.  There aren't many quick answers where MS is concerned.  Chronic pain and constant fatique can alter your personality, but if she is having severe mood swings you should consult a licensed therapist or her neurologist.  General practitioners tend to throw run-of-the-mill depression medicine at us, but she could have something that needs more in depth attention.  Best of luck to you both.  :)

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klt, Community Member
6/21/10 3:18am

Hi Frankie,

It could be MS or it could be something else.  She should probably be evaluated just to rule out other things.

I have a frontal lobe lesion and it has turned into a "black hole", whatever that means, but it doesn't sound great.  I'm on 2 antidepressants and a mood stabilizer.  I'm feeling just about normal, now.  But I also have a diagnosis of depression.  Have no idea if the depression is related to the MS or to other things.  But whatever it is, the meds are working.  I do HATE to be on medication, just because the side effects can be bothersome at times, but it's either the side effects or the depression.  I chose the side effects.  Don't worry, you will find the right answer, but it will take some time and a visit to a dr. or two.  Just try not to take it personally, I'm sure she doesn't mean to hurt you.  I wish the both of you my best wishes.

 

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Justin, Community Member
5/31/12 8:57pm

Hey I was just dumped by my live in girlfriend of 4 years.  She had the same issues, happy one moment, then depressed seconds later.  She went hot and cold daily.  I couldn't figure it out, and she refused to see anyone.  She's pretty stubborn.  She was prescribed Avionex for MS treatment, but did not want to take any anti-depressants, and after being apart for just over a month she finally got prescribed Ativan.  We're not together anymore, but I still care.  She had changed into a different person, she has only been dx'd with MS for less than a year.  It's a shame, she's so young and we had planned on getting married and in fact she spoke of marriage one week prior to the breakup.  I am hoping that maybe she'll see that she had someone who wanted to be there for the long haul no matter what.  It's up to her and she's telling me that she needs to find out if I am the one to make her happy.  She's got alot on her plate and I just have to give her space and time to sort her feelings out. All I can suggest is read read read as much as you can about the evil MS and try to fight it as a team.   Good luck.

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The Mug, Community Member
4/27/14 10:12am

After living with someone who I love for 8 years and watching her slowly change into an angry, self obsessed, uncaring lump thanks to this illness, along with many of the women in her support group, my advice to you is to run as far and fast as you can..... You only get one life.... Don't waste it on someone else. Love isn't enogh.

 

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By Carmen, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/27/14, First Published: 05/06/09