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Selma Blair opens up on Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, crying tears of ‘relief’

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Selma Blair opens up on Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, crying tears of ‘relief’

Selma Blair opens up on Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, crying tears of ‘relief’

In October, Selma Blair announced to the world that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, for the first time in a TV interview, she has opened up about the diagnosis and how it has given her a new lease on life.

She spoke one-on-one with Robin Roberts, host of Good Morning America explaining why she’s decided to speak out.

“I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic,” she told Robin in the interview that aired Tuesday. “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.”

She told Roberts she has spasmodic dysphonia, which causes spasms in the larynx, or voice box, brought on by her primary disease. MS is a progressive neurological disease which attacks the coating of nerve cells, causing sensations of numbness, tingling or burning as well as balance issues, vision problems and other symptoms.

The actress rose to fame with her role in the 1999 film, Cruel Intentions, and has gone on to star in movies such as Legally Blonde and The Sweetest Thing. More recently, Blair starred in American Crime Story.

The interview aired just days after she rocked a custom cane on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“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,” she said in the interview.

Blair also revealed she was self-medicating during that time to cope. “I was drinking. I was in pain. I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it.”

“I was really struggling with, ‘How am I gonna get by in life?’ And [being] not taken seriously by doctors, just, ‘Single mother, you’re exhausted, financial burden, blah, blah, blah’.”

“I was ashamed and I was doing the best I could and I was a great mother, but it was killing me,” she said, adding that she would have to take a nap on the way back from driving her son to school, one mile away.

In the interview, the actress explained how her doctors also urged her to be as open as possible about her diagnosis – even though she had reservations. “I was a little scared of talking, and even my neurologist said, ‘No, this will bring a lot of awareness because no one has the energy to talk when they’re in a flare-up,’ but I do, because I love a camera,” Blair said.

Through it all, Blair has made it a point to stay positive and grateful. “I never thought I’d have such riches and that I’d have to be so vulnerable and accepted,” she said of her son and closest friends. “It’s keeping me alive, no pressure to them,” she added, jokingly. “So rude of me, but the truth is they have been.”

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