Your right to have a job you’re qualified to do is protected by law. Although MS may decrease productivity, most people with MS continue working for years after they are diagnosed.
A recent study shows that MS Fatigue is the most common symptom associated with the decision to leave work, reduce employment, or get retired early and can worsen other MS-related symptoms. Although MS greatly varies from person to person, there are tips to help MS patients manage their work-MS challenges:
Make your job "MS-friendly" & know what to share:
Make or ask for reasonable adjustments around your symptoms at work. Please keep in mind that you're not required by law to disclose your confidential information. However, sharing your special needs with your boss or coworkers could greatly improve your work productivity, decrease your stress, and help you manage your MS-related symptoms at work. You may also decide to talk to your HR or union and ask for necessary accommodations and arrangements (regarding medical leave, time off, work space, etc.) without the need to disclose your private health information to your boss or co-workers.
Deciding what or how much information you want to share at work is very important and personal for most people living with MS. You should carefully consider the best strategy working best for you by considering your own needs, symptoms, preference, and other circumstances.
TraXel - MS & Work
Keep your stress level to a minimum:
Control your emotions and reduce or get treated for your anxiety or depression if needed. Keeping a positive attitude, sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise, getting enough sleep and rest, and learning mind relaxation techniques (such as, breathing, listening to music if possible, avoiding overthinking, comfortable body position, etc.) could greatly help you keep your stress level to a minimum at work and increase your work productivity.
Some MS patients decide to quit their jobs right after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. A study shows that about 40% of unemployed people with MS wish to return to work. This would be a great idea if you could give yourself some time and think carefully before making any big decision about quitting your job. Continuing your work could be more helpful than quitting it now and planning to find another job later. You may use your sick days or medical leave temporarily until you're physically and emotionally recovered.
Investigate alternative career paths:
Depending on your symptoms and other circumstances , you may decide to change your career path, job function, or work environment to manage your symptoms more efficiently, improve your life, and increase your work satisfaction. If your current line of work or job function is worsening your MS symptoms, considering a new career path or job function suiting your symptoms, abilities, and skills would be greatly beneficial.
Although working or studying with MS could be challenging, with some flexibility and creativity in finding the best strategies for overcoming your challenges, the success you desire in your career is within your reach.
- Whether you are a patient, a healthcare provider, or a family member of someone with MS, your experience offers great value to others. Please don't hesitate to share it: https://www.mytraxel.com/forum-1