Speaking with Multiple Sclerosis experts is a top priority for MS Insight. We strive to connect with the top clinicians in the field and extract the information and advice that is most helpful for patients.
In this interview, MS Insight's Sue Kushner chats with Rosalind Kalb of Can Do MS. She spent many years working fo the National MS Society, and is a clinical psychologist with a long history of working in the Multiple Sclerosis community. Kalb has been working in the field for 40 years and calls it "the passion of my life."
In this interview, the two discuss some of the mental struggles those with chronic illnesses may face. Kalb says some of the mental health issues -- like depression and anxiety -- are baked into the illness, and there should be regular screening for these things.
A few topics covered in this interview:
It's difficult to live through MS alone, which is why organizations like Can Do MS prioritize partners and family members. Ensuring that family members are up to speed with proper information and education on the disease, medications and care their loved one needs is vital. Kalb talks here about the importance of prioritizing the education of family members. Get a little more information on this here.
MS and COVID
COVID has caused a lot of extra anxiety for people with MS, and the majority of the population. Kalb points out that those with MS were a step ahead of others when it came to dealing with COVID, because they already live each day unsure of how it will go. Living in uncertainty is part of MS. On a positive note, more time at home has given people the opportunity to try something new, connect with family members online they hadn't spoken to in awhile, and perhaps focus on things that time didn't allow for before.
MS and Community
One of the most important things you can do is find your MS community. While in-person gatherings are helpful, COVID has shown us there is no reason not to gather online as well. "Support from other people is incredibly important," said Kalb, noting there are many new ways to find that these days. She also recommends "self-compassion" as a wonderful coping mechanism when dealing with tough days.
Kalb closed the interview with a quote that exemplifies an attitude we at MS Insight want MS Warriors to embrace:
"Reaching out for help is one of the best signs of strength one can ever exhibit."
Don't wait. Find your community. We're here for you.