MS symptoms: Multiple Sclerosis Brain Changes & Anxiety/Depression

AnxietyThe MS Society UK notes that one-third of MS patients have anxiety while the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America says it is one-fourth. The biological changes in the brain due to the immune system issues brought on by multiple sclerosis can actually cause depression and anxiety. Panic attacks are linked to anxiety. I had a long, very painful panic attack when my Sampson passed away this week that nearly sent me to the hospital.

So what is anxiety?  “Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia”

And a panic attack? 

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal.” (

What can I do to stop anxiety and panic attacks? According to the Calm Clinic, exercise, breathing techniques, and staying busy and active.

Resources Anxiety Attacks & Anxiety Disorders @
WebMD: Anxiety & Panic Disorders @
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America: Anxiety @
MS Society UK: Stress and Anxiety @
Health: Could You Have MS? 16 Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms @,,20639076,00.html

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About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.