What Actress Rachel Miner Wants You To Know About Multiple Sclerosis – Exclusive

When actress Rachel Miner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) close to her 30th birthday, she was starring on "Supernatural" and her career had a positively upward trajectory. When a person has MS, the body begins attacking itself, causing irreparable damage to the protective coating on nerve fibers, which negatively impacts and interrupts the nerve signals sent to the brain (via Mayo Clinic). This can result in nerve disturbances, mobility issues, bladder and bowel problems, tingling and itching, and brain fog, to name just a few possible symptoms.

Having dealt with a plethora of symptoms in the years leading up to her diagnosis, Miner's "Supernatural" castmates had been quietly supporting her however they could. "I had MS with very pronounced symptoms for years, but wasn't telling anyone," she told Health Digest in an exclusive interview. "So they were very supportive through the years ... I just didn't want to put the burden on anyone else, so I just tried to do my job." She continued, saying, "I'm aware there was so much effort to help, from both the cast and the crew, just to make my life easier in whatever way that they could, without drawing attention in any way."

Understandably, receiving any diagnosis can be difficult to process, but here's what Rachel Miner wishes you knew about multiple sclerosis.

No two patients are the same

Although the immune system attacks the body, causing damage to the central nervous system, in each person with MS, the condition affects each patient differently depending on where exactly the damage occurs (via Mayo Clinic).

"I think the number one thing I'd love people to understand is how very differently it affects every single person with MS, because it can lead to false assumptions about what another person is going through," Rachel Miner told Health Digest. "And I think that gets in the way of our understanding and our ability to help each other, when we assume we understand, like, 'Oh, I know someone with MS, and they have X going on.' You might have a very, very different impression than what the person in front of you is going through."

Miner also wants people with MS to stop comparing themselves to one another. As she explained, "The nervous system is so very complex, and each of us has our nervous systems being negatively affected in different ways. The lesions are in different places, and interrupting different signals." She continued, saying, "And so, you can be the strongest person who can overcome all the odds, and you're working with a very different set of barriers. So I really encourage people to get that."

Follow Rachel Miner on Instagram. Learn more about multiple sclerosis at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.