After a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, you may find yourself seeking counsel from people who are going through the same experiences as you. Your local hospital can introduce you to a support group. Or, maybe you know a friend or relative that has been diagnosed with MS.
If you need a broader community, you can turn to the internet and the variety of forums and support groups that are available through MS organizations and patient groups.
These resources can be a great place to start with questions. You can also read stories from others with MS and research every element of the disease, from diagnosis and treatment to relapse and progression.
If you find yourself in need of support, these eight MS forums are a good place to start.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with MS, you can connect with people who are living with the disease at MS Connection. There, you’ll also find individuals who are trained to answer your questions. These peer support connections can be a great resource soon after your diagnosis.
Subgroups in MS Connection, like the Newly Diagnosed Group, are designed to connect people who are seeking support or information about specific topics related to the disease. If you have a loved one that is helping you or providing care, they may find the Carepartner Support Group helpful and informative.
To access the group’s pages and activities, you’ll need to create an account with MS Connection. The forums are private and you must log in to see them.
MSWorld started in 1996 as a group of six people in a chat room. Today, the site is run by volunteers and serves more than 220,000 individuals with MS around the globe.
In addition to chat rooms and message boards, MSWorld offers a wellness center and creative center where you can share things you’ve created and find tips for living well. You can also use the site’s list of resources to seek out information on topics from medication to adaptive aids.
MyMSTeam is a social network for people with MS. You can ask questions in their Q&A section, read posts, and gain insights from other people who are living with the disease. You can also find others near you who are living with MS and see the day-to-day updates that they post.
The PatientsLikeMe site is a resource for people with many medical conditions and health issues.
The MS channel is designed specifically for people with MS to learn from one another and develop greater management skills. More than 70,000 members are part of this group. You can filter through groups dedicated to type of MS, age, and even symptoms.
For the most part, older discussion boards have given way to social networks. However, the discussion board This Is MS remains very active and engaged within the MS community.
Sections dedicated to treatment and life allow you to ask questions and reply to others. If you hear of a new treatment or possible breakthrough, you can likely find a thread within this forum that will help you understand the news.
Many organizations and community groups host individual MS Facebook groups. Many are locked or private, and you must request to join and receive approval to comment and see other posts.
This public group, which is hosted by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, acts as a forum for people to pose questions and tell stories to a community of nearly 30,000 members. Admins for the group help moderate posts. They also share videos, provide new insights, and post topics for discussion.
ShiftMS aims to reduce the isolation many people with MS feel. This lively social network helps its members seek out information, research treatments, and make decisions to manage the condition through videos and forums.
If you have a question, you can post for the more than 20,000 members. You can also scroll through the variety of topics that have already been discussed. Many are routinely updated by members of the ShiftMS community.
It’s not unusual to feel alone after receiving a diagnosis of MS. There are thousands of people online you can connect with who are experiencing the same things as you and sharing their stories and advice. Bookmark these forums so that you can go back to them when you’re in need of support. Remember to always discuss anything you read online with your doctor before trying it.