Spiritual Health and MS – What I’ve Learned Since 2006

Today I had the pleasure to read an article on something very important to me. Ever since I was diagnosed with MS, I have exclaimed about the power of promoting your spirit by embracing the power within all “multiple scars”. I am so adamant about being secure in your spiritual health that I have lost some followers because of my focus. I have had many followers say, “I thought No More Sclerosis was about multiple sclerosis but every time I read something by you, it talks about your faith.” I wanted them to understand my approach. Yes, I have been diagnosed with physical RRMS since 2006 but I have lived a well-balanced life due to one thing – Seeing myself the way God sees me.

I had such an amazing epiphany today when I searched “spiritual health and MS”. There were actually articles that spoke the same as me. They were saying exactly what I had been promoting ever since 2006. I know I have many followers who are gentlemen who are diagnosed with MS, but this is for the ladies fellas. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that this came from medical scientists. Two medical individuals in Iran conducted a study on women living with MS. The title of the article intrigued me, “Spiritual health in women with multiple sclerosis and its association with self-esteem”. This is the exact thing that had been preserving me for all of these years while coping with multiple sclerosis. This is an international matter, and it was refreshing to see people in another area of the world who were doing the same as me. Vahid Shaygannejad and Shahla Mohamadirizi, were inquiring about something that I could relate to personally.

They said that “Spiritual health is one of the four dimensions of health in humans, and the others are physical, psychological, and social dimensions.”. This would substantiate the fact that all of these dimensions work together to allow holistic health. When one of these dimensions suffer, it makes it hard to adjust in the others. If we are not able to relate to other people in a positive way, have proper thought structure, and have a positive connection in our spirit to what we believe in, our health will undoubtedly suffer. Moreso, it effects how we view ourselves which is the precedence for high or low self-esteem. We, as women with multiple scars of any type, have to nurture how we protect our health in all dimensions.

Among the hundreds of women they studied, most were spiritually healthy and had high self-esteem. That didn’t surprise me because the two go hand in hand. When you know WHO you are and WHOSE you are, you have a hard time negating anything, even if it’s your health. Do I deal with pain in my body sometimes like others? That is an unfortunate truth at times, however I have discovered, as the article indicated, my faith is “effective in alleviating frustration”. There is that frustration with the disease that may cause a patient to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” or “How can I live life now with this illness?” When these inquiries occur, our faith encourages us to know that ALL things work together for the good and we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

Vahid Shaygannejad and Shahla Mohamadirizi said, “Spiritual health refers to the satisfaction of communication with a superior power and existential health (is the) attempt to understand meaning and purpose in life.”. I couldn’t agree more! I am spiritually healthy because I am satisfied with the way I can pray and talk to Abba and understand that my “meaning and purpose in life” is predestined. I have enveloped my life with gratitude due to the sacrifice given for my “remission”. I applaud their conclusion when they state that “improving spiritual well-being, enhancement of spiritual health, and self-esteem should be further emphasized in the treatment and caring programs of these patients…”. I stand in complete agreement and pray that other medical facilities, abroad and here in the United States, take on this approach when dealing with both men and women who live with multiple sclerosis. Blessings to you and yours and continued remission, eternally. XOXO – Yada

Work cited:
Shaygannejad V, Mohamadirizi S. Spiritual health in women with multiple sclerosis and its association with self-esteem. J Educ Health Promot. 2020 Mar 31;9:64. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_144_19. PMID: 32489999; PMCID: PMC7255585. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7255585/

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