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Selma Blair Wasn't Panicked By Her MS Diagnosis, But Relieved

Illustration for article titled Selma Blair Wasnt Panicked By Her MS Diagnosis, But Relieved
Image: ABC News

Selma Blair announced that she has multiple sclerosis last October, but many fans (myself included) weren’t aware of her diagnosis until she appeared on the Vanity Fair Oscar red carpet with a cane.

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Now she’s talking about her diagnosis for the first time, giving an interview to ABC News. Blair’s speech is shaky and spastic throughout as she explains her life living with MS, but she says that when she first found out she had it she cried “not tears of panic, but 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 talks about how when her son was born she was in an “MS flare-up” and was doing everything she could to seem “normal,” including self-medicating. Blair says she struggled with symptoms for years, falling down, not being able to drive home from dropping her son off at school without taking a nap, but wasn’t taken seriously by doctors.

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“It’s interesting to put it out there, to be here, to say this is what my particular case looks like right now,” Blair says.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Kat Marlowe

... but wasn’t taken seriously by doctors.

I was just watching an episode of The Golden Girls the other night and it was the episode where Dorothy had chronic fatigue syndrome but the doctor brushed off and patronized her:

I came to you sick - sick and scared. And you dismissed me. You made me feel like a child, a fool, a neurotic who was wasting your precious time. Is that is that your caring profession? Is that healing? No one deserves that kind of treatment.

I suspect, had I been a man, I might have been taken a little bit more seriously and not told to go to a hairdresser.

Nearly 35 years later and doctors are still dismissing women, treating us as neurotics, as hysterical, as wasting the doctor’s time. We’re given a shrug and a pat on the head, like we have no understanding of the bodies we live in.