Selma Blair has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the actress revealed in an Instagram post on Saturday. Blair, 46, wrote that she received her official diagnosis in August, though she believes she has had the disease for much longer and was “never taken seriously” by medical professionals.
“I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know. And share,” the actress wrote.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system, causing interruptions in the transmission of nerve signals between the brain, spinal cord, and rest of the body, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This can cause tremors, dizziness, fatigue, and numbness or weakness in the limbs. Though MS affects over 2.3 million people worldwide, it affects two to three times as many women as men.
It is also commonly misdiagnosed. According to a 2017 Health Union survey of over 5,000 Americans living with MS, 42% of respondents said they were initially diagnosed with another condition including depression, migraine, and fibromyalgia.
Blair thanked the producers, actors, and crew on her upcoming Netflix series Another Life for providing a supportive workplace environment as she navigates her life with MS, particularly costume designer Allisa Swanson. Blair wrote that Swanson “carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself.”
Blair was frank about the symptoms she has experienced as a result of MS.
“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things,” Blair wrote. “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.”
MS does not yet have a cure, but treatments such as physical therapy and medication can slow the progression of the disease.
“I have MS and I am ok,” Blair wrote. “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.”