Positive psychological health and self-compassion are important for positive outcomes for people with MS and protect them against poorer outcomes.
Psychological growth and self-compassion are two important qualities for well-being. Psychological growth, also called resilience, is the ability to “bounce back” or grow positively following challenging experiences. Self-compassion is the ability to be kind, accepting and understanding of oneself in times of difficulty. Both of these qualities are important for coping with chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis (MS).
Research into these areas in MS is fairly new. This project consisted of two parts; part 1 aimed to increase our knowledge of how people cope with MS by comprehensively summarising the results of studies looking at whether people grow positively from living with MS and whether this can improve well-being and reduce distress. Part 2 looked at whether self-compassion can help people adjust to MS, particularly whether self-compassion is helpful for reducing people’s reports of difficulties with their memory and thinking.
Together, these findings showed that growing positively or “bouncing back”, and self- compassion are important for positive outcomes for people with MS, and they protect against poorer outcomes.