Here is My Question:
I'm thinking of stopping Copaxone. I'm considering not doing anything, quite frankly. Is it always necessary to treat MS? I'm just quite tired of the lack of caring on the doctor's part and taking the injections. My issues are mostly cognitive. I'm so depressed, I just want to quit. Maybe if I could stop thinking about the whole thing, I would feel better! Again, does one ALWAYS have to go on a DMD? I can't take Rebif, Gilenya and I hate the bumps from Copaxone.
You have a lot of company when it comes to being tired of giving yourself injections and wondering whether you need to be on a disease modifying therapy at all. The most common reason for stopping long term injectable DMTs is "injection fatigue” combined with depression. Nothing is more important that treating your depression. In order to effectively manage your MS using DMTs (assuming they are warranted in your case) your doctors must help you with your depression and your outlook. Let me also be clear that this is a group effort; your doctors may or may not be able to prescribe effective anti-depressants and help you find a good therapist (both important); you must also take responsibility for improving your mental health and outlook. This may involve exercising more regularly, eating better, stopping smoking or using unnecessary drugs, reengaging in activities of interest to you and reconnecting with people in and outside of your family.
To answer your question more directly, not everyone needs to be on a disease modifying therapy, although I have no idea if this statement applies to you. What I do know is that everyone needs to work on enhancing their own innate "self efficacy" (see prior Blogs) so they have the tools to deal with MS over time or any vicissitude of life.
Good luck to you
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego
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