Selma Blair Opens Up About Multiple Sclerosis in First Interview Since Diagnosis

Roughly a million American men and women are affected by multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that may lead to trouble working, tackling household chores, or even walking.

On Sunday, actress Selma Blair walked the Oscars after-party red carpet with the help of a cane—her first red carpet appearance since revealing her MS diagnosis in 2018. And on Tuesday, Blair opened up on Good Morning America about what it’s like to live with the disease.

The actress was diagnosed with MS in August 2018, but told Robin Roberts that she unknowingly suffered from an MS flare-up since the birth of her son in 2011.

“I was giving it everything to seem normal,” Blair explained in the interview that aired on Tuesday. “And I was self-medicating when he wasn’t with me. I was drinking. I was in pain. I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it.”

Blair shared how the condition severely impacted daily life, from speaking to parenting. Before her diagnosis, Blair would be so exhausted that she’d pull over and take a nap after dropping her son off at school, even though they only lived a mile away. Holding conversations with family and friends became a chore since she suffered from spasmodic dysphonia, which caused muscle spasms and impacted her speech patterns.

Although being diagnosed with an incurable condition is daunting, Blair was relieved to find a reason behind her symptoms.

“I was ashamed and I was doing the best I could and I was a great mother, but it was killing me,” she said on GMA. “And so when I got the diagnosis I cried with some relief. Like, ‘Oh, good, I’ll be able to do something.'”

View this post on Instagram

This was a pleasure. A gift of love and support to all of us from @goodmorningamerica @robinrobertsgma and me 🖤. Meeting and talking with #robinroberts was everything . Tune in #february26 to see the interview on #goodmorningamerica. #ms #warriors #support #stillanactress #mom #keepon #thebestisyettocome ⭐️ #notcopyandpasted. 👥

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on

Blair admits to having days where she can’t tear herself out of bed, but says her doctor believes she’ll get 90 percent of her normal abilities back. Although the actress’ condition is particularly aggressive, and MS is different in everyone, here’s what you should know about the condition:

What is multiple sclerosis?

According to the National Institute of Health, multiple sclerosis damages the myelin sheath that offers a barrier of protection for your nerve cells. This damage makes communication between your brain and body difficult, which leads to MS symptoms. Symptoms vary, but commonly include muscle weakness, balance and coordination issues, and memory problems.

What causes MS?

Researchers still don’t know why some people get MS, but many scientists believe it could be an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system accidentally attacks healthy cells in your body. Currently, there’s no surefire way to tell if someone has MS, and doctors look at medical history, neurological exams, and MRIs to diagnose patients.

Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

Although there is no way to cure MS, medications may be used to control symptoms. Depending on the severity of the condition, doctors pay prescribe medications that reduce inflammation or stop the immune system from attacking the myelin, Mayo Clinic reports. Physical and occupational therapy can also help patients perform daily functions.

Source: Read Full Article