Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

What is to Blame?

I have been thinking a lot about something that was recently brought to my attention. I was asked, “What caused your MS? What or who is to blame for it?” So I was sitting there trying to come up with an appropriate answer, then my mind wandered and I thought… You know, this would be a great thing to write about.

It’s a really good question though, who is to blame for getting Multiple Sclerosis. Is it something I did? Am I the one to blame for getting it? Was I exposed to something by someone else that ‘triggered’ my Multiple Sclerosis onset? Or… was it something just in my body that is to blame? Did a certain food cause it? Did getting sick cause it? There are so many questions that we don’t have answers to, and this is one of them.

I think a really big thing that people need to be aware of is that we DON’T KNOW what caused us to get MS. Are there scientific theories for the cause of MS? Yes, there are. But none of those theories are 100% proven/accurate. So it’s just a big guessing game for the MS Community.

However, I don’t like to respond with just an “I don’t know” when I’m asked this question. I want to be able to give them SOME sort of an answer. I would like to have SOME sort of an answer, rather than nothing at all to explain it.

There are so many ‘unknown’ things in regards to MS and I just want to make that list shorter.

In the past, I’ve blamed myself. I felt like it was something I did, or something I exposed myself to, that triggered my MS onset. I still do blame myself at times; even if it isn’t the ‘logical’ thing to do.

I know that I’ve written things in the past that can relate to this specific topic, like… “Accepting the Unknown”, “It’s Not My Fault”, “Unanswered Questions” & “I Don’t Know“. So as you can see, this topic is not only a frequent topic for myself, but judging by everyone else I’ve spoken to who has read those articles, it’s on their mind as well. Maybe even possibly on your mind, now that I brought it up.

I sit here and hear people talking about wanting a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis. I see campaigns to raise money for research, to find a Cure for MS… of course I want that! What person with MS wouldn’t? But I’m still sitting here wondering how researchers are going to find the Cure for MS, when the cause hasn’t even been determined…

When I think back to schooling, on the steps we had to follow in science class when beginning a experiment, I was taught to use a Problem-Solving Technique and one of the first steps was always “Identify the Cause”. How can you fix something, when you don’t know the cause of the problem? If something is wrong with your car, you take it to a mechanic. They find the ‘cause’ of the problem – then you discuss how to fix the problem aka “cure”.

Even if you have been to counseling before, they talk about finding the root of your issues… aka The Cause

Is anyone else on the same mindset that I am? Sadly, I do know that the word “Cure” in regards to Multiple Sclerosis is usually done in order to catch someone’s attention to raise funds… and it works. You don’t hear something like… Donate to the FIND THE CAUSE…. You hear “Donate to FIND THE CURE”

I guess I just wish that there were more studies being done to find the cause of MS – not just a cure, or Band-Aid. Now, don’t take that the wrong way… because I do want a cure, I do want studies to be done to find it… I guess I just feel like that if the Cause was found, that we would be closer to having a Cure…

I’m rambling on about this, I know… but I’m just very passionate about this topic… I even wrote an article, in regards to finding a Cure… it was more about calling people out on their misleading promotions, but you get the idea. In my article, “Calling Y’all Out” (yes I used the word y’all, I am a Texas girl after all…) Anyways, in that article I stated the following:

Ashley’s Definition of a CURE for Multiple Sclerosis: A medication and/or technique/procedure that stops any future demyelination to a patients Central Nervous System to happen EVER again. BUT this certain medication and/or technique/procedure ALSO corrects any and all damage done to patients Central Nervous System due to Multiple Sclerosis. How do you have a CURE for MS when there is not even a (for sure) CAUSE of MS?

What are y’alls thoughts on this matter? What are we supposed to blame for being diagnosed? I want an answer to that…

Wow, I didn’t realize I was going to go on and on so much in this article… but I’m glad that I at least got it off of my chest, for now anyway. Since March was MS Awareness Month – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the matter.


Ashley Ringstaff

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

P.S. I did a video for MS Awareness 2015 – it’s more of an interview type video… but I answered a lot of questions that I’ve been asked over the years by individuals in the MS Field. You can check it out by clicking here or by visiting MSWorld’s MS Awareness Page.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Debora
    4 years ago

    I firmly believe that there might eventually be control but no cure. Too many variables, types & outside influencing factors. The type my family has is inherited, I am one of 5 with MS. Questions of how much influence herpes simplex has, how much damage is done by stress, how much female and endocrine hormones drive the disease. I believe work needs to done on detection, which leads to earlier treatment. It took over 10+ years before someone did more than put a note in my medical file that they thought I had MS. I also believe that pharmaceutical treatments need to administered with better oversight. I now have Addisions as a result of over administering of Solumedrol in the 90’s after diagnosis. How many other diseases and conditions are people with MS dealing with because of damage from treatments? There is a bigger view of What is to Blame.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    I want to thank you for commenting 🙂 It’s nice to hear how different people, with different backgrounds feel on the matter. I don’t feel like there is a right or wrong opinion as of right now, because there are so many questions.

    If you really look into the side-effects and precautions of DMD’s now a days – it’s scary… but we don’t really have any other option at the moment.

    At least they aren’t diagnosing MS by throwing you in a hot tub, like back in the days.

    Wishing you the best!

  • But You Look So Well
    4 years ago

    Oh do I hear you on this one! I used to live in New Hampshire, which has the highest per capita incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in the world, or so I’ve been told. And of course when I tell people that, they ask “Why is that? Is it the granite?” and what can I say? If we knew that, we’d know a lot more than we do know, and we don’t know much. I usually talk about the old genetic predisposition and an unknown infectious agent, but I always have to admit I don’t know, we don’t know, we would love to find out, but in the meantime there are a LOT more treatments for it than there were when I was diagnosed!

    I even went so far as to undertake a long and arduous graduate degree to come to terms with why I had this disease and what was I going to do with it, and let me tell you why I got Multiple Sclerosis as a result of all this expense and study and agony: I found a quotation from Rabbi Hillel that sums up my life with MS. Here it is: “I get up in the morning. I fall down. I get up again. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”

    Thanks, Rabbi Hillel! You got it!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    OH I LOVE THAT QUOTE! I’m gonna have to save it 🙂

    I feel like I should have been in the medical field – had I know I would of been diagnosed w/ MS, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t always mean we would ‘find out more answers’… I guess, I would just be able to understand all of the medical mumbo jumbo that is published about MS! lol

    Take Care 🙂

  • Dabble58
    4 years ago

    Hey, we still don’t know all the causes of cancers, do we? What I find tough is that people never ask people with cancer, “What causes it?” Or when someone has osteoarthritis, no one asks, “How did you get it? What did you do?”
    I think we maybe just need to say “I’m a medical mystery!” and let it go.
    But you are right, it’s hard to imagine a cure when we don’t know a cause. For me, the cure will come when we figure out how to re-myelinate cells and stop axonal death.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Very true! Thanks for posting your thoughts – I had never thought about it that way.

    Do we need shirts that says we’re “Magnificent Medical Mystery”?? lol

  • Della
    4 years ago

    I have thought of this also. It makes so much sense to find out why before you can fix anything. My husband and I were on our way home from Vegas on a plane and the stewardess was asking me questions about MS. The only question I dreaded her asking is “What causes MS?”. I respond – No one knows, there are lots of things that are thought to be a part of the problem, but no one knows for sure. I just love having MS for 18 years & I have no clue what causes it. Kinda makes me like an idiot.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Don’t feel like an idiot, for one. I just feel like if there was more awareness about MS – that maybe that would lead to more researchers taking part in trials & studies, to find answers. I also think that w/ more awareness on MS – we wouldn’t get the constant questions from people, wondering “what is wrong with us”… but in a nicer way. xoxo

  • Poll