Tag Archives: anxiety

Research Request – Can You Help?

I’ve been approached by Jowinn Chew, a first year PhD student at King’s College London, based at Guy’s Hospital, supervised by Dr Colette Hirsch and Prof Rona Moss-Morris.

Their research is focusing on identifying the cognitive mechanisms which underpin and maintain anxiety surrounding illness uncertainty within MS.

They need you guys to help them out, so it would be great if you could take a little time out to get involved.

Jowinn explains what will be involved in the task:

You will be responding to statements concerning general thinking patterns and mood.

Following this, you will then move onto the main task, where you will read through a series of twelve short descriptions. Afterwards, you will then be presented with several sentences. You will be asked to rate how similar the sentences are to the original scenario.

We expect that the task will take approximately up to 40 minutes to complete.

If you’re interested, click here! And, thank you.

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Everything’s Coming Up Roses…

everything's coming up rosesI’ve been feeling oddly laid back about my recent accident, and it’s not all down to the painkillers. Or chocolate.

Like a lot of people I’ve spoken to over the last few years, coping with something life-changing such as MS puts things into perspective. Life is constantly throwing up obstacles and no one ever said it’d be easy.

But isn’t that the point? We expect things to tick along nicely – ¬†the fulfilling job, the blessed marriage, the nice house, the well-behaved kids – and in striving to achieve all that security, we bring the stress into our lives. When things go wrong, we can’t cope.

I read an article the other day about the American philosopher Alan Watts, who wrote ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity’, a radical approach to dealing with anxiety. He writes that in uncertain times, we respond by chasing after security in order to make the worry disappear, but the struggle to feel secure is the very thing that causes anxiety.

He puts the case that life is inherently insecure and the only way not to feel insecure is to dive straight into reality, with all its uncertainties.

Blimey. Mind-bending stuff for my MS brain, but I think without realising it, it’s the way I live now. I have struggled over the last decade to create security for me and The Teenager and it’s been a daily uphill slog. My anxiety levels have shot through the roof at times. And then one beautiful, sunny day, MS crashed into my life and smashed it to smithereens, unveiling the stark reality that there was in fact no security in my life at all.

So, post MS-devastation, I have handled this ¬†unexpected accident pretty well. It happened. It’s grim. But there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it and raging about how this has yet again brought chaos and uncertainty to my life won’t do me any good. Life is never secure and anyone living with MS knows that, so why not turn it to our advantage?

Forget the roses, I’m just like bamboo now – I sway with the wind but I won’t break.

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