Selma Blair talks living with multiple sclerosis in first TV interview since diagnosis

Francesca Specter
·Yahoo Style UK deputy editor


Selma Blair, 46, has opened up about her battle with multiple sclerosis for the first time on camera.

Multiple sclerosis, often shortened to MS, is a lifelong autoimmune condition which can cause a range of debilitating symptoms including fatigue, trouble with speech and walking, blurred vision and problems with bladder control.

Blair revealed she was suffering with the condition in October last year, via a candid Instagram post, after being diagnosed in August 2018.

She subsequently appeared on the red carpet last Sunday at the Oscars, brandishing a diamond-encrusted cane.

Selma Blair at the Vanity Fair Oscars 2019 after party [Photo: Getty]
Selma Blair at the Vanity Fair Oscars 2019 after party [Photo: Getty]

Today, in an interview with ‘Good Morning America’, Blair spoke to presenter Robin Roberts about her symptoms, and the effect her diagnosis has had on her and her son, Arthur, seven.

View this post on Instagram

I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. I have #multiplesclerosis . I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix , I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member… thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me , dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know. And share. 🖤 my instagram family… you know who you are.

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on Oct 20, 2018 at 11:23am PDT

Speaking about when she was first diagnosed after years of struggling to understand her condition, Blair said she had “tears of relief”.

“I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control and there was some relief in that.

“Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal.

“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.”

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

As Roberts explained, during the interview, Blair was experiencing an “exacerbation” of her condition which affected her speech.

“It is interesting to put it out there, to be here to say, ‘This is what my particular case looks like right now’,” she said.

Blair also spoke about telling her son, Arthur, that she has the condition.

“I always want him to feel safe, never responsible for me. But he had already seen that I was falling and doing things.”

“So I did have to tell him after the MRI. I said, ‘I have something called multiple sclerosis.’ And he almost cried and said, ‘Will it kill you?'”

“And I said, ‘No. I mean, we never know what kills us, Arthur. But this is not the doctor telling me I’m dying.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, OK,’ and that was it.”

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