Posted on Dec 06, 2019
But you don't have to navigate it alone. MS support groups offer an avenue to connect with others who are going through a similar experience. A source of inspiration, motivation, education, and comfort MS support groups provide members with a safe place to share and learn.
Whether you’re looking for therapeutic techniques to manage daily symptoms or would like to connect with other multiple sclerosis patients in-person, these best online MS support groups can help.
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The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Facebook group is an excellent place to ask questions, find answers, offer advice, and connect to resources. The group thrives with a strong sense of community that can be felt through the personal stories often shared. From discussions about medication side effects to talks about how to cope with chronic pain - there are always thoughtful conversations to engage in and learn from. With nearly 20,000 members, it’s one of the most active MS support groups on Facebook.
Healthline’s Facebook page, Living with Multiple Sclerosis, makes a great home base for accessing all sorts of information on MS. With a constant stream of content being shared each day, it’s one of the most consistent MS support groups. In addition to featuring articles from the Healthline website, they also post pieces from around the web. Topics range from ‘How Pregnancy Affects MS’ to ‘6 Signs a Caregiver May Be Burned Out and 7 Ways to Help', so there's something everyone can relate to. Plus, they share great tools like this free, web-based symptom self-management program that helps patients receive behavioral health care for chronic pain, fatigue, and depression.
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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society brings people together in an uplifting environment that encourages education and wellness. It gives people with MS an opportunity to get help from their peers, while also offering support back. Many of the groups serve specific populations, like young adults, African Americans, and parents, offering people living with MS an opportunity to connect with others who share common life experiences. You can search for local groups in your area by zip code.
There’s also a Peer Connection program where you can connect directly, one-on-one, with someone who has “been there” and can provide tips, suggestions, and emotional support.
With over 220,000 members living with multiple sclerosis, MSWorld is one of the largest all-volunteer patient-run MS support groups in the world. A collaborative community, MSWorld offers chat rooms, message boards, a wellness center, a creative center, a resource center, a conference center, an arcade, and social networking. They also have an informative news section that covers everything from the latest in MS treatments and research to local events and conferences worth watching out for. For video footage of past conferences, head to their youtube channel.
PatientsLikeMe is built on the foundation of healthy storytelling. It’s a place for patients to share and uncover the best ways to manage the physical and emotional challenges that come with MS. Home to an MS forum with over 71,000 members, visitors can browse over 1 million posts covering upward of 48,000 topics - it’s an endless source of valuable information and discussion.
Their website also hosts a great collection of charts powered by data from multiple sclerosis patients who are members of PatientsLikeMe. The charts allow you to explore common symptoms reported by people with MS, compare treatments and side effects experienced by patients, and get to know the demographics of the community (like current age and age at first symptoms).
If you or a loved one is navigating a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, here are some articles that may help the process: