Mood Changes - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Mood Changes

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Overview

Mood changes of various kinds are very common in MS including:

The Psychosocial Implications that apply to all mood changes are:

  • Emotional issues tend to be underreported to the healthcare team, and undertreated when they are reported (with untreated or undertreated depression contributing to the high rate of suicide in MS).
  • Mood changes can interfere with:
    • Self-care
    • Treatment adherence
    • Role performance at home and work
    • Interpersonal relationships
    • Quality of life

 

Symptom: Depression

Treatment

  • SSRI antidepressants
  • SNRI antidepressants

[Note: antidepressant are typically prescribed at inadequate doses for people with MS; every effort should be made to identify the most effective medication at the optimal dose with the fewest side effects]

Symptom: Anxiety

Treatment

  • SSRI antidepressants
  • SNRI antidepressants

Symptom: Irritability

Treatment

  • Low dose valproic acid; SSRI antidepressants

Symptom: Pseudobulbar affect

  • affects approximately 10% of people with MS

Treatment

Resources for clinicians

Resources for patients

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