Love, Self-Esteem, and Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive chronic disease which generally appears in early adulthood. The debilitating symptoms of MS can have adverse effects on the sufferer's self-esteem, a vital coping resource for sufferers of chronic diseases. This study explores the effects of positive affect and social isolation—conceived broadly together as love—on self-esteem. We found that love was the most powerful predictor of self-esteem, followed by attitude stage, number of years since diagnosis, social class, and physical restriction.