Selma Blair Reveals Multiple Sclerosis Led Her to Drink

Legally Blonde actress Selma Blair is usually quite private about her life, but recently she opened up about her harrowing multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

It all started in 2011 when Blair began feeling extreme pain and fatigue after giving birth to her son. She told Good Morning America that the fatigue was so intense that when she would drive her son to school less than a mile away from her home, she would have to pull over and take a nap before driving back home.

“I was in an M.S. flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,” she said of the time before her diagnosis. “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.”

Once she finally was diagnosed with M.S. and knew what was wrong with her, Blair felt a sense of relief.

“I had tears,” she said of getting her diagnosis. “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, and there was some relief in that.”

The reason Blair has decided to speak freely about her diagnoses now is to help others.

“I’m pretty much a nobody in Hollywood,” she told Vanity Fair. “But when I read comments on Instagram from people who were suffering, whether it was from M.S., or anything, I thought, ‘Holy s—, there’s a need for honesty about being disabled from someone recognizable.’”

Blair’s doctors are very hopeful for her future.

“I’m very optimistic; I think she’ll be a different person in a year,” doctor Saud Sadiq said to the outlet. “I have patients with M.S. who are surgeons, actors, a commercial-airline pilot, sports figures, successful lawyers — they don’t want anyone to know about their illness because they feel it could hurt their career. Her decision to speak out also brings awareness and increases research funding for the disease when people can see somebody affected in the way that she is.”

The actress told Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts that her doctors say that she should have 90% of her capabilities back within the year.

“So this is to say, ‘Let’s meet again next year and see if I’m better,'” she said. “If I’m not, and I can still have a conversation, that’s good enough.”

What is M.S.?

M.S. is a chronic autoimmune disorder. It affects myelin, which is a substance that covers your nerve cells and transports messages from your brain to the rest of your body.

People with M.S. experience flares of the disease, which occur when their immune system attacks the myelin. This causes the messages that are sent from the person’s brain to be interrupted.

The symptoms of the disease can differ from person to person.

In Blair’s case, her speech was also impaired because of spasmodic dysphonia, which is a neurological disorder affecting the muscles in the larynx.

There is no known cause of M.S. yet.

Read more: What is Selma Blair’s Net Worth?

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