MS personality


I am not going to comment here as it is more the space for a neuro, who can comment about personalities, but what do you think? I can sometimes see changes in people and knowAre you agreeable? lot:-)

Chu L, Casserly C, Rosehart H, Morrow SA. Is there a multiple sclerosis personality? Personality characteristics in newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis and association with mood and cognition. J Neurol Sci. 2022 Jan 11;434:120145. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2022.120145.

Background: Neuropsychiatric changes are common in multiple sclerosis (MS). Personality in persons with MS (pwMS) is understudied despite its implications for health behaviours, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL).

Objective: To assess baseline personality characteristics and their relationship to information processing speed (IPS) and mood in persons with early MS.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 384 pwMS who had psychometric testing within 2 years of diagnosis between February 2012 and May 2021. Testing included the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Results: Participants were highly agreeable (53.7%). Most had impaired IPS (60.5%). Anxiety and depression were present in 194 (50.5%) and 87 (22.6%) participants, respectively. Females were more agreeable and conscientious. Neuroticism, conscientiousness, and extraversion had moderate-high correlations with anxiety and depression. Despite weak correlations with conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness, pwMS with impaired versus normal IPS had no significant personality differences.

Conclusions: Individuals with recently diagnosed MS are agreeable, typically have impaired IPS, and often have anxiety or depression. Significant personality differences exist between sexes and between pwMS with or without anxiety or depression. Early identification of these neuropsychiatric traits in pwMS may improve treatment adherence, symptoms, and QOL.

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  • Dear Miss Mouse-
    Thanks, you’ve saved me significant aggro. Personally know where entirely too many bodies are buried for my current liking!

  • “To assess baseline personality characteristics and their relationship to information processing speed (IPS) and mood”
    So, men and women are different, a few correlations amongst personality traits (I’m sure that’s never been done before), and showing that baseline personality characteristics have no bearing on IPS. Did I miss anything really important? Or is this study as fluffy as I think it is?

  • Sometime in the past 2 years, I began to outright refuse to answer the HADS anxiety and depression survey delivered to me frequently over the telephone by well meaning heAlth care providers. They would give it their best shot, try to conjole me into answering, but I finally discovered that if I got very animated and explained that the survey itself heightened my anxiety because it was, in my view, a very poor reflection of my personal persistent exercise of resilience, self regulating skills, and extroverted personality in the midst of a pandemic while I had a chronic illness and needed to voluntary self isolate from the maskless a-holes in my community. This apparently would give me a poor score on scale, and was quickly followed by additional questions about whether I wanted to hurt myself. (I do not). I found myself explaining that my choice to go on a anticd20 dmt was motivated by my very strong desire to slow progression of MS and live my life as fully as possible, similarly, my choice to wear at all times outside of my home a n95 mask sandwiched between a cloth mask and, now, with high transmission rAtes, also adorned with a visor to boot, is because I want to live life very much, and I do this even though my mask casts me as an outsider in a very open for business community. With this mind, I ask you health care providers who use this anxiety/ depression scale, how should I answer, for example, the HADS’ question, “have you lost interest in your appearance”? Should I explain.that I have found that lipstick is not a good choice, because it stains the inside of my mask? Or that my hair gets tangled in the mask loops, so a simple pony tail works best, or that I stopped wearing masquera because it runs when my glasses fog from the mask? And That the only reason I stopped wearing earrings is because the mask loops tug and get stuck on ear assessories? . Look at each question through a pwms’ lens. PLEASE! do you still enjoy the things you used to enjoy? Do you sometimes get a frightened feeling something bad is going to happen? Hello???

    • OMG. It was a good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee! Inhaling then spewing that stuff HURTS! LMAO!

      A friend of ours recently had to take a lie detector for a high level gov job. She was counseled by someone who had done it before, that when they asked if you’d ever lied, they did NOT mean did you lie about how many cookies you ate when you were in 3rd grade. Just say no, I’ve never lied, it won’t trip the machine. Otherwise you get labeled FOREVER, or they’ll freak out and go down the YOU LIED rabbit hole. Same with this I think. Don’t explain that you look like hell but there are logical reasons, just say: Of course I care.

      I just answer those things now as if I spend every waking moment in a state of near-maniacal happiness. Oddly no one questions that as being pathological in the face of an interior and exterior world gone mad. They’d have to read the answers for that, actually, and I suspect they don’t. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve put on my medical history when I’m annoyed beyond measure that they demand I write out the same history I wrote last year and the year before that, etc, basically an entire life’s worth including dates, AGAIN, on a line about 3 inches long. No one ever reads my bon mots, sadly. (If they did, they’d probably fire me as a patient)

      • In my late teens I was clinically depressed. The shrink decided me being suicidal (which was kinda true) I could not simply have pills but needed therapy. Therapy was rather pointless and I do not suffer fools lightly, so not sure how many pretend DSM-IV diagnoses I managed to rack up in those sessions…

    • Fantastic answer! As you said, health care providers should look at each question through a person with MS lens.

    • I largely refuse to engage on those scales, myself. I can make them show whatever I want (likewise for MBTI etc.) so what’s point?

      A physiotherapist once asked me if MS scared me. I point blank answered her ‘yes, I’d be delusional if it did not’.

  • Early identification of personality quirks may help identify MS trouble makers?

    Yes, a clinician needs to be very good at dealing with a variety of personalities, which due to any number of factors, may seem harder to deal with than before. Happens with stress and is called an adjustment disorder. Many clinicians are ill prepared (untrained} and even unsuited, to deal with such things, due to their own ”crap”. And then imagine if the story begins with a personality disorder with one or both of the parties (clinician and/or patient}. What fun!

  • It’s hard for me to tell if changes have been due to fluctuating cognition, brain damage or something else, but certainly there have been some episodes of change. Most recently I swore terribly for the first half of 2021 which isn’t like me at all, thankfully that one fizzled out.
    It’s very unnerving though and I have lost faith in being myself, I worry that I am behaving abnormally and haven’t realised it yet. I have deliberately lost contact with almost all of my friends because of it. It feels safer to stay home avoiding the risk of making an idiot of myself or upsetting someone.
    I don’t have access to a neuropsychologist where I live but I wonder if I would benefit from seeing one?

    • Recently I swore terribly….if you have only being doing this recently you must come from the nice part of town:-). We are social animals you should not withdraw from Society speak to your care team

    • The uncharacteristic swearing is because of MS. Think of it as a relapse symptom. It came, and thankfully it went.
      Report it to your neuro, as you would report other symptoms.

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