Your Most Frustrating Symptom? Fatigue

As part of our “In A Word” series, we recently asked the Facebook community to complete the following statement: “In a word, my most frustrating MS symptom is______”. If you haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts yet, it is never too late! Let us know by leaving a comment at the end of this post.

Learning about your MS

Our objective at is to empower patients and caregivers to take control of MS by providing a platform to learn, educate, and connect with peers. Thanks to everyone who participates in our prompts; your feedback helps us learn more about your MS…and also generates ideas for new articles!

worst MS symptom

“No one understands”

MS is challenging and life changing in many ways. From the 650+ responses we received from our community members, fatigue comes across as the clear “most frustrating MS symptom.” Adding to the frustration, many community members felt that friends, family, and colleagues often did not understand the severity of this symptom. As Connie stated in her comment, “no one understands and [they] label you as lazy.”

For those of you looking for ways to better manage and cope with fatigue, please take a look at Lisa’s blog post for helpful tips. Stay tuned for more tips on managing fatigue from our team of patient advocates.

Mobility and numbness

The world cloud also highlights Pain, Numbness, Balance, and Cognitive Issues as some of the most frustrating MS symptoms for our community. The MS in America 2013 Study reinforces this after it found that the walking difficulties (49%) and numbness/tingling (64%) were frequently the earliest MS symptoms experienced, and it appears that they continue to be frustrating with time.

Cognitive issues

Cognitive issues, such as brain fog and memory loss, can present many challenges individuals with MS. Recent research presented at the American Academy of Neurology suggests that you may want to consider exercise as a way to improve some aspects of cognitive function.

Most of you will not be surprised to see vertigo,
incontinence, sleep, vision problems, emotional challenges and spasticity included in the list of frustrating symptoms, as well.

You can learn more about MS symptoms by checking out our Symptom overview, which reviews common MS symptoms, recent research, and management techniques.

Thanks again for being part of the community, and for allowing us to learn from your experiences!


View Comments (8)
  • Jane
    6 years ago

    The nystagmus is constant. I feel that contributes to my fatigue. I must try 1000 times harder than non MSers to stay upright. By the end of the day…or by noon….I am soooooo tired.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    Jane, that battle to stay upright or to move at all, is something difficult for people who don’t have MS to understand. You are so right – we work so much harder at it….

  • Michelle
    6 years ago

    I have many small symptoms to battle. It would be much easier if I wasnt always exhausted!!!!

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    Fatigue is always at the top of the list of complaints – I’m thinking that maybe 80% of us have fatigue concerns.

  • David
    6 years ago

    The fatigue is the most bothersome to me, with the exception of the cognitive impairment, and oh yes, let’s not forget the fricking depression, which weighs heavily upon all the other symptoms.
    I almost forgot, it finally got warm out here (Minneapolis) and that’s great except for how the heat affects me.
    Just thought I’d shoot some rainbows, and flowers to everyone on this beautiful Monday!

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    David, you made me smile even when I can relate to every last one of the symptoms you listed. I needed some rainbows today.

  • Deb
    6 years ago

    I HATE the random vertigo issues the most. Feeling fine one minute, then for no apparent reason feeling light headed. Frightening to say the least, but I have learned to push through it without letting it control my life. I refuse to let MS beat me!

  • Michelle
    6 years ago

    When u are dizzy STOP!!!! I broke my wrist pushing through it. Give yourself a few seconds to get straight!

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