People with a good social support network often feel happier and more at peace with their lives. It is especially true after a diagnosis of MS when there can be a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about what the future will hold.
A person’s ability to interact with others healthily is called socialization, a lifelong process. When children are born, they’re taught about different values and norms, which they internalize through their relationships with their family, peers, and society.
They’re also taught about how these values and norms change over time. It helps them better understand how their beliefs and behaviors affect their interactions with others.
The ability to interpret other people’s emotions, or the “theory of mind,” is a fundamental component of socializing and is especially important for understanding how others may respond to your actions and thoughts, such as how does joining support groups help someone with MS.
It can also help you avoid making decisions that may not be in your best interest. For example, if you have MS and you’re trying to decide whether or not to have children, you may want to ask someone else if it’s the right time for you.
Individuals with MS risk experiencing loneliness, which can lead to reduced social integration and a lower level of psychological well-being (PWB). Studies have shown that social isolation is associated with harmful health outcomes such as pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, and bladder incontinence.
Education helps people with multiple sclerosis develop social skills, learning, and memory. It also helps them understand their condition and improves their confidence in sharing information about it.
Education is a form of learning involving transmission and direct teaching alongside moments of exploration, experience, and action. It’s a mix of guiding eidos (the idea that all are connected) and disposition or halting (the belief that learning comes from interaction), with praxis – informed, committed action – the final element of the educational process.
Progressive educators stress that children learn through their inner development. They encourage students to question and seek out new knowledge. They also emphasize the importance of self-regulation and emotional awareness.
If your child has an IEP, they may be allowed to receive special instruction in school to help them with their learning. It could be extra time for exams, a classroom assistant to help them take notes, or other services to improve their academic performance.
Having an IEP requires the involvement of a special education counselor, psychologist, and school administrators. You and your child should discuss the plan with the counselor at the beginning of the year to ensure it is appropriate for the student and meets any necessary educational requirements.
In addition to these formal educational programs, many resources and community groups support people with MS. These include nonprofit organizations, drug manufacturers, and health care professionals.
A supportive community can be one of the most influential and helpful tools for people with MS. It can give you a chance to share your experience with others who are coping with similar challenges.
Supportive communities also allow you to learn new things about MS and how to deal with it. In addition, they can help you feel more empowered and self-confident in tackling your daily challenges and issues.
Online and in-person groups often have a moderator or leader to guide discussions and keep them focused on the group’s goal (if applicable). These can be structured around combating isolation, helping you form friendships, or providing education about MS.
These support groups can be found on the websites of organizations like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Local chapters or nonprofit agencies in your area may also offer them.
Many of these groups also have forums to post questions and interact with other members. By reading other posts and comments, you can connect with other members who share your concerns and get valuable tips and ideas that you might not have thought of before.
A recent study has shown that social support positively impacts the emotional and mental well-being of people with MS. Those who had social support were less likely to experience depression or anxiety and were more satisfied with their life. It was true whether the person with MS was living with relapsing or progressive disease.
One of the most valuable things a supportive community can do for people with multiple sclerosis is empowering them. It means enabling them to take more control of their health care and to be involved in making decisions that affect their lives.
Empowerment is a multi-level concept that impacts individuals, organizations, communities, and societies. It involves the equal distribution of resources, attention to material needs, political empowerment on the societal level, and a psychological sense of control at the individual level (Nelson & Prilletensky, 2010).
In the case of healthcare, this can include patients choosing the providers that offer them treatments and services and being involved in care decisions. It can also include helping patients to understand their disease better and to find information about treatment options that are right for them.
It can also involve removing direct power blocks that prevent people from achieving important goals, such as quality education, fair lending practices in housing, or ethical treatment in the workplace. These can result from social or economic inequalities, such as racism, sexism, classism, and ableism.
In the case of MS, an interactive Web-based self-management and care program called MSmonitor can help people with MS to develop their empowerment. It offers short questionnaires on fatigue (Modified Fatigue Impact Scale-5), health-related quality of life (HRQoL, Leeds MS Quality of Life), and disabilities; long questionnaires on self-efficacy, participation, and autonomy; and a medication and adherence inventory.