Easily Overwhelmed

It’s not easy to discuss some the symptoms that develop throughout the course of a chronic illness. Certain symptoms are less difficult to disclose, whereas others are more risky to share.

Physical symptoms of chronic illness are less likely to be misinterpreted and/or judged unfairly, as opposed to cognitive and emotional ones. I have definitely noticed that I have experienced decreased frustration tolerance, since developing MS.

For example, if I am attempting to pay attention to reading complex material, I am unable to do so in a noisy environment. I’m just not able to ignore the background setting, and closely focus on the material at hand. I get easily frustrated if I try to complete more demanding tasks in such a setting.

Being a receptionist in a hectic office would be totally out of the question! I feel much more easily frustrated when too much is going on, too.

For example, I would much rather go grocery shopping later in the day, when the store is relatively less crowded. Having to shop at the busiest times is much more stressful for me.

For example, my fatigue simply can’t tolerate having to wait in line for an extended period of time. Having to do so really leaves me feeling emotionally drained, as well as physically exhausted.

If too many stressful events happen to occur back to back, or simultaneously, I definitely find myself becoming more easily irritated. My degree of fatigue is consistently exponentially worsened by chronic stress.

These are examples of additional, invisible symptoms of MS. It’s important to recognize that cognitive, as well as emotional, symptoms of chronic illness are no more within an individual’s control than are physical symptoms.

Exhibiting such types of symptoms does not mean that an individual is inadequate, weak, or not trying hard enough. Chronic illnesses are manifested in physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.

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