A report by the UK MS Society has shown the extent of discrimination faced by people with MS. These incidents include being confronted about their use of disabled facilities and being accused of being drunk. Many of these incidents are due to a lack of public awareness of MS, but that doesn’t make them less upsetting.
The new figures published by the UK MS Society show that 49% of people with MS have been accused of being drunk because they were having trouble walking. Another 47% say they’ve been told they are exaggerating the extent of their MS because they ‘look so well’.
The good news is that family and friends can have a huge impact in helping to deal with stigma and mistreatment.
Diane Donat, who lives with MS, said her loved ones make a big difference: “My family and friends are a shield for me against discrimination. They make an effort to understand my MS, and know how to help me without being told.”
The UK MS Society has a new booklet to support family and friends of people living with MS as part of their “Live it Well” campaign.