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MS and Mood Swings!!!!!

Understanding and Managing Multiple Sclerosis Mood Swings

You’re happy one minute and angry the next. A television commercial might bring you to tears, or you’re suddenly snapping at others for no reason. These are all examples of mood swings, which are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

In MS, the immune system attacks the protective covering (myelin) that coats the nerves of the central nervous system (CNS), creating lesions or scars. The brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve all make up the CNS. Depending on what part is involved, a wide range of symptoms can result. Mood swings are one of the many symptoms common to MS, but the connection between the disease and emotions often goes unrecognized.

While it’s easy to see the physical effects of MS, such as balance, trouble walking, or tremors, the emotional impact of the disease is not so apparent. MS can involve various types of emotional instability, including uncontrollable laughing and crying or even euphoria. However, you can manage your mood swings with treatment, therapy, and frank communication.
Pinning Down the Cause

MS mood swings can strike without warning and leave a person with MS feeling frustrated and overcome by their seeming lack of emotional control. It’s important to understand what you’re feeling and try to understand the reasons for emotional swings. You might benefit from talking about your feelings with others. Being as honest and observant as possible will help in determining the cause.

Some common reasons for MS-related mood swings include:

pent-up frustration
inability to cope

Besides external factors, the disease itself may play a role in mood swings. Many patients report a worsening of their emotional symptoms during an MS attack.

There are two parts of the brain involved in emotion. One part forms emotional responses, while the other allows you to control them. MS lesions can form in the part of the brain that allows you to control emotions. This might lead to difficulties with self-control. It can also cause unbalanced expressions of sadness or happiness.

Emotional responses can even be scrambled, causing you to laugh at sad news or cry at something funny.
Dealing with Cognition Changes

The first step in taming MS mood swings is to communicate with your neurologist. A neurologist or mental health expert can give you tools to conquer your emotional roller coaster. Some people find counseling helpful, while others manage their emotions with mood-stabilizing drugs, anti-anxiety medication, or antidepressants.

In addition to therapies, you can take these proactive steps to control your moods:

Delegate. If you’re overwhelmed by your daily routine, reduce stress by delegating some tasks. Free yourself from burdens in order to relax and focus.
Turn to a friend. Find a friend to confide in about frustrations or fears. Just talking can help release pent-up feelings. This can keep your emotions from boiling over in the form of a mood swing.
Find support. Join an MS support group. Talking things out with others who are going through a similar experience can help. The group leader can also provide resources to find experts who can help.
Practice peace. Practice yoga or mindful meditation. The calming effects of yoga and meditation can help your brain settle down and focus.
Explain. Tell others about your mood swings before they happen. Sometimes the worry of what others might think can cause enough stress to bring on an event. Letting others know it’s part of your disease will ease your mind.
Breathe. Deep breathing can calm you down and give you an extra moment to take back control when you find yourself in a stressful situation.
Think it through. If you pause and examine your feelings objectively, you may be able to reclaim control. Realizing what is triggering your emotions can also help.
Exercise. Physical exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on mental well being. Besides being good for your body, the time you spend engaged in exercise can be a great time for personal reflection.

There Is Help

Remember that mood swings are common in MS. They shouldn’t be reason for shame or embarrassment, but they shouldn’t be ignored either. Reach out to your neurologist or primary care doctor and let them know that you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, sadness, or even inappropriate bursts of laughter. They can refer you to a mental health specialist who is trained to identify and help you manage the emotional mood swings of MS.

Therapists or counselors are trained to recognize and help you see what flips your emotional “switch.” A mental health professional can give you tools to take emotional control. If your relatives are affected by your mood swings, family counseling can also be beneficial.

If medication is in order, you can work together with your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits of each and find the one that’s right for you.

With all the help available to treat the emotional symptoms of MS, there is no reason for you to suffer in silence. The right combination of counseling and medication will help you feel like yourself

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The intent of this site is to help others through sharing information.  Kelly Helsel does not endorse or intend to mislead any readers as to the content of any articles or books on this site.



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Happy Friday !!!!!

After reading the past articles, I feel like I have everything the New Jersey Functional Neurology Center helps patients with.    I had no idea nor has any Dr in Reno, CA, Salt Lake City mentioned this center is available.  It’s amazing to me how ego’s set in and If they can’t cure you no one can.  I have not been to the Center but after reading the web page, and having a few short e mails with the DR, I feel like there is hope for all of us out there.  Dr Scopelliti  offers hope for all different area’s and I feel lucky to have found him.  Now he is stuck with me!   You can sign up for e mails at the bottom of the article, but I also will be sharing his information he has offered to help others out there  living the world of Invisible Illness’s.

Have a wonderful Friday !!!!


The intent of this site is to help others through sharing information.  Kelly Helsel does not endorse or intend to mislead any readers as to the content of any articles or books on this site.




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New Jersey Functional Neurology Center with Dr Scopelliti

Brain Based Neurology

Brain Based Neurology

Treatment For Patients Suffering With Vertigo, Dizziness, Imbalance, Dystonia, Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion, (TBI), ADD ADHD and other Neurologic and Neurobehavioral Disorders

Vertigo, although most commonly associated with inner ear disorders, has several causes including both vestibular, (inner ear), as well as central, (brain based).  Dizziness and dysequilibrium, (imbalance), are often seen as secondary effects of vertigo as well, associated with subtle changes in the brain, which we see in those afflicted with vertigo and dizziness.  Relief of vertigo symptoms depends on determining and eliminating the cause. Vertigo, dizziness and imbalance may be caused by a more serious condition that many health care providers can miss since they don’t treat neurologic and/or vestibular conditions on a day-to-day basis.  In the past, the standard medical treatment for symptoms of dizziness was the prescription of certain vestibular suppressant medications, such as Meclizine.  In the last ten years, the understanding of brain function has exploded.  The nineties have been referred to as “The Decade of the Brain.”  Brain based understanding as well as understanding of vestibular dysfunction, (vertigo and dizziness, presyncope, etc), has yielded extensive new therapies and treatments for resultant conditions, such as vertigo and dizziness, dystonia, as well as a multitude of behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit disorder, (ADD ADHD), dyslexia, etc.  It is now known that brain/vestibular dysfunction is is also intimately related to many conditions, including learning disabilities such as ADD ADHD, phobias, panic attacks and anxiety, scoliosis, movement disorders, including dystonia, Parkinson’s, Mild Cognitive Impairment, essential tremors, etc., and brain injury, (TBI, MTBI), as well as vertigo symptoms and symptoms of dizziness, disequilibrium and other disorders of imbalance, which predispose increased and premature fall risk associated with imbalance.

The resultant development of new protocols in diagnosis and treatment primarily of brain based disorders, such as vertigo and dizziness, dystonia, etc., continue to be developed today, and many focus on accepted understanding of central control mechanisms of the brain involved in movement, balance, and postural stability.  Our unique approach to treatment incorporates functional integrative neurological and neurodevelopmental rehabilitation. Dr. Scopelliti credits his success with these more exotic neurologic and neuro-otologic conditions to his in-depth diagnosis and conservative treatment protocols which diagnose the true cause of the patient’s symptoms, (like vertigo and dizziness), then treat properly to provide as much long term relief as possible.  Our brain based treatments provide brain fitness peak performance by exploiting concepts of neuroplasticity which were concluded to be possible in the 90’s.  Neuroplasticity is a concept of neuronal regrowth and replication, which for centuries has been thought to be impossible.  We now know that it is not only possible, but that it is in fact how the brain works.

Monmouth Functional Neurology Center Video

Functional Neurology on ABC News

This recent ABC News piece examines the myriad of successes which patients have found through FunctionalNeurology.

Hope Restored –  What is Functional Neurology

Out of State Patients

Because of the high level of specialization and success of our practice, we routinely see patients from out of town and from out of state suffering with untreated complex brain based disorders such as vertigo, dizziness, dysequilibrium, dystonia and traumatic brain injury, (TBI).  If you are coming to see us from out of state, you can find a local hotel to make arrangements at by keying in the phrase “hotels in Long Branch NJ” into Google map search box, or, your favorite mapping application.  You can find the local map of our office on our Directions page.  This will bring up several local hotels and their contact information.  We typically advocate spending the week as you will be seeing the doctor daily.  Please call our office for any assistance which you may need regarding a hotel stay or transportation.

The following are representative of the types of conditions for which we routinely see patients in our office:

“Learn To Live With it” or, “Your Problem Is In Your Head” Patients

This is the vast majority of our practice, comprised of patients who have been to specialist after specialist, had lots of tests, are not getting better, and are told simply to “Learn To Live With it”  or, “Your Problem Is In Your Head”.

Imbalance And Balance Disorders

Vertigo and Dizziness, Pre-syncope, Balance Loss or Dysequilibrium, Fall Risk.

Dystonia And Movement Disorders

Dystonia, Torticollis, Ballismus, Tremors, Parkinson’s.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, (MTBI), Post Concussive Syndrome, Seizure Disorder, any Closed Head Injury, Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries and other Accident Injuries.


Migraine & Sick Headaches, Tension Headache, Post Traumatic Cephalgia, Cluster Headaches, Head & Face Pain, Vestibular Migraines.

Behavior Disorders Of Development, ADD ADHD

Child Neurobehavioral Disorders, Neurological Developmental Delay,  Tourette’s & Motor Tics, Learning, and Behavioral Disorders: ADD  ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; OCD,  Child Coordination Disorders, Child Postural Disorders including Scoliosis, Ocular Palsies such as Lazy Eye, etc.

Most Brain Based Disorders

Stroke, (CVA), Tinnitus, Panic disorder, Vasovagal Presyncope, Seizure Disorder, Pain, Pain Syndromes, Nerve Entrapment Syndromes of Arm & Legs, Sensory Processing Disorders, Communicative Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Seizures, Enuresis, etc.


Neck pain, mid and lower back pain, complicated with arm and/or leg pain, or, uncomplicated.

Patients Not Responding To A Care Plan

Patients who have been treating for one to two weeks and are not improving or are worsening.

Independent Evaluations Regarding Appropriateness Of Care

Patients who have been inadvertently cut off from care either by peer review or IME, which appears to be biased and not representative of the patients actual status.

Other Scenarios Such As Athletic Enhancement In Timing And Coordination

Our office is a fully established balance center focusing largely in the primary treatment of patients with vertigo, dizziness, dysequilibrium, (imbalance & fall risk), dystonia and ADD ADHD.

Use the navigation links on the right to seek out relevant content for vertigo and dizziness, dysequilibrium, imbalance and fall risk, dystonia, MTBI, headaches, and ADD ADHD.

Dr. Scopelliti is a Functional Neurologist in Monmouth County NJ.



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