Montel Williams' MS & Depression

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Did you catch Oprah yesterday? Montel Williams started off the show with a Public Display of Emotion (PDE). He cried about his MS and his depression.

His health problems are obviously devastating. I can't imagine living with multiple sclerosis--or serious, suicidal depression.


He said his MS causes him pain, and it's sometimes made him not want to live. He's even attempted suicide.

Here are 5 signs of depression from the show:

  1. Changes in energy
  2. Weight loss or weight gain
  3. Change in sleep
  4. Problems with concentration
  5. Apathy

17 million people suffer from depression in this country, as I wrote in a story called Is It the Blues or Depression?

But Montel's depression might have been triggered by his struggle with MS. Multiple Sclerosis is a serious illness that attacks the central nervous system (CNS). It's thought to be an autoimmune disease where the body's own defense system attacks the myelin. This is the fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Approximately 400,000 people suffer from it in the U.S., and it's more common in women than in men.

Here are the most common symptoms of MS from the National MS Society:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Balance & coordination problems
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Vision problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pain
  • Emotional changes
  • Depression

Did you see him? He was talking about his new book, Living Well Emotionally. I felt badly for him. Do you mind that he cries so openly--PDE--about his issues?

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