The Emotional Swings of Multiple Sclerosis

MS mood swings can strike without warning and leave a person with MS feeling frustrated and overcome by their seeming lack of emotional control. It’s important to understand what you’re feeling and try to understand the reasons for emotional swings. You might benefit from talking about your feelings with others. Being as honest and observant as possible will help in determining the cause.

Besides external factors, the disease itself may play a role in mood swings. Many patients report a worsening of their emotional symptoms during an MS attack.

Some common reasons for MS-related mood swings include:



pent-up frustration


inability to cope


There are two parts of the brain involved in emotion. One part forms emotional responses, while the other allows you to control them. MS lesions can form in the part of the brain that allows you to control emotions. This might lead to difficulties with self-control. It can also cause unbalanced expressions of sadness or happiness.

One of the first things a counselor told me when I told her I had MS, was that I should let people close to me know.  I was hesitant at first, but over the past 5 years, it really has made a difference in my emotional quality of life.  I provide boundaries and because they are my closest family and friends, they don’t cross them.  I promised them I will ask for help when I need it and they promise not to fuss or pity me. Jennifer R.

Emotional responses can even be scrambled, causing you to laugh at sad news or cry at something funny.

Depression and MS Video

Anxiety and MS Video