Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Moving on from a Tough Diagnosis


None of us hopes to go to the doctors and get bad news. No one wants to be told that their life is going to be significantly altered, that they are facing an uncertain future or that they are going to face a painful life. In fact, many of us avoid going to the doctors, in fear of what we might hear. We want to be told that we’re fine, that we are overreacting or that with a little treatment and care, we’ll be back to normal in no time.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the doctor gives us bad news. In that moment, our hearts seem to stop beating. We imagine our futures and how our life is going to change. It can be tempting to dwell on this, and it’s easy to find that in the coming days, weeks and months, you think of nothing else.

But, at some point, you need to move on from your diagnosis, and start to live your life. Even if it isn’t quite what you’d hoped it would be.

Look at the Positives

It can be hard to see the positives when you first get a diagnosis that will change your life. But, you still have your friends and family. You still have your passions and interests. And, above all, it’s better to know what you are facing than be living with an illness without knowing.

Educate Yourself

It’s easy to imagine the worst and to panic. Generally, in life, we’re afraid of things that we don’t understand. You might worry more if you don’t know much about your condition. So, learn all that you can. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions, read up on new research and learn more about what you can expect. Learning as much as you can will help you to feel in control, and could give you greater hope for the future.

Find Support

Your friends and family will hopefully be a fantastic source of support. As will your doctor and other medical professionals. But, they don’t really understand what you are going through. As much as they might try. So, find people that do. Look for support groups in your local area, and get online. Sites like the shift ms forum can be a fantastic source of information, support and understanding.

Know That You Won’t Always Feel This Way

It’s completely normal to feel shocked, frightened, upset and even angry when you first receive your diagnosis. It’s also normal for these feelings to last for a little while. But, it’s crucial that you know that it won’t last forever. You will start to feel better, and your outlook will change. Perhaps even without your noticing. Take things a day at a time, don’t try to rush yourself, but know that things will change.

Find a New Interest

Sometimes, you need to give yourself a little push. To get yourself back to normal, to seeing people and to thinking of other things. Trying a new hobby or finding a new interest, even if it’s just going for long walks or joining a book club can get you out of your own head and back into the real world.

Mandy X