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

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

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]

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.

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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