Selma Blair Opens Up About Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: ‘I Cried With Relief’

Selma Blair poses as she attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Selma Blair has opened up about her health in her first interview since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, The Daily Mail reported.

The 46-year-old actress spoke to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts on Tuesday, February 26, and opened up about what it was like for her when she first received her diagnosis, which came after experiencing symptoms for years that some of the numerous doctors she saw attributed to her being an “exhausted single mother.”

“I cried, I had tears,” she recalled after getting the news. “They weren’t tears of panic. They were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control.”

But the shock of finding out her diagnosis also came with a sense of relief. Selma explained that before finding out she had MS — which she revealed last October — she was “giving it everything to seem normal.”

The Legally Blonde actress, who is mother to Arthur, 7, said that she had turned to alcohol as a form of self-medication to get through the pain.

“I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it,” she said.

Selma also recalled a time when the undiagnosed disease made her so tired that she had to pull over and take a nap in her car after dropping Arthur off at his school, which was just a mile down the road.

“It was killing me,” she said. “And so when I got the diagnosis, I cried with relief.”

But before being diagnosed, Selma’s symptoms reminded her of Parkinson’s. She revealed that, despite never having met him, she reached out to fellow actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1991. The stars began a conversation via email that Selma explained was very helpful, while also adding that the Back to the Future star gives her “hope.”

As for explaining her diagnosis to her son, the Cruel Intentions actress said it wasn’t a difficult conversation since Arthur had already seen her experience her symptoms, and that the two had even made jokes about them. He was, however, fearful about the fate of his mother, though Selma reassured him that the news was not a sign that she was dying.

Selma’s one-on-one with Robin Roberts comes just two days after making an emotional return to the red carpet for the Vanity Fair Oscars Party, where she wore a glamorous Ralph and Russo gown and carried a custom-designed cane for support.

The interview also came in the midst of a flare-up of symptoms, as well as spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that affected her voice that caused it to sound shaky.

Though she admitted she was “scared of talking,” she ultimately hoped that her appearance would help bring awareness to the disease that, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website, affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

Selma also revealed that her doctor has a positive outlook and said she could recover 90 percent of her abilities within the next year — news that led to her scheduling a follow-up interview with Roberts in 2020.

In the meantime, the actress is not letting her condition interfere with her work. She has made appearances in two movies that are currently in post-production and recently signed on to the upcoming Netflix series Another Life.