When you or someone you love is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may be looking for organizations that focus on this condition. You may also be looking for ways to connect with other people who have MS. Here are resources to help you get started, including nonprofit organizations, blogs, and online communities.
If you’re looking for support groups, your doctor may be able to put you in touch with one. When choosing a group, consider what the group focuses on, how it meets (online or in person), and who leads the group. See what works best for you.
When you use blogs or online communities, keep in mind that this information isn’t medical advice. Also ask yourself these questions:
- Who runs or created the site? Are they selling anything?
- Does it make claims that sound too good to be true?
- Is the information up to date, reviewed, and based on scientific research?
These nonprofit organizations provide online information about multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: msfocus.org
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: www.nationalmssociety.org
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America: mymsaa.org
Multiple Sclerosis International Federation: www.msif.org
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada: mssociety.ca
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Multiple-Sclerosis-Information-Page
If you live with MS, there may be times when you feel isolated or alone. You’re not. Online blogs, including some run by major MS organizations, include many stories from other people who share your condition. Apart from firsthand accounts, some of these blogs are filled with useful information about MS diagnosis, treatment, or the task of living with MS. Here are some to explore.
Most national and local MS organizations have social media accounts. These and other online communities can offer a wealth of good information and supportive resources. Just be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything that you find online.
Reddit. This site connects you with others in the MS community. You can join different forums and learn more from people who share your experiences. You can post your tips and read posts from others.
Facebook. This social media platform allows you to connect with others who live with MS. Some Facebook groups may be private, and so you may have to request to join.
Popular hashtags. #multiplesclerosis, #thisisms, #mswarrior, #msawareness
It’s important to ensure that content you find on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites is reliable. Some online health information isn’t correct. Make sure that you:
- Trust your gut. If the account looks or seems suspicious, it probably is.
- Look for verified accounts. Major organizations have a specific symbol that ensures they’re real and not a spam account.
- Ask yourself the same questions about the quality of the information that you would for anything you read online.