Actress Selma Blair has said she cried with relief when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The star of Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde suffered from unknown ailments, exhaustion and collapse while battling to care for her son.
Blair began self-medicating with alcohol to get through the pain, and felt ashamed as she became hostage to her own body.
In August of 2018 she was diagnosed with MS, and wept with relief when the cause of her suffering was revealed.
The condition stems from damage to the nervous system which can lead to a range of physical and mental symptoms, including muscle weakness and trouble with coordination.
Blair is now seeking to raise awareness about MS and, despite her voice faltering due to the condition, is speaking out about her experiences.
Speaking on Good Morning America, the actress said of her diagnosis: “I cried, I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing I 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.
“I was self-medicating when he wasn’t with me. I was drinking. I was in pain. There were times when I couldn’t take it.”
Blair recently appeared at a Vanity Fair Oscars party, sporting a customised walking stick to aid her balance, and has been open about her battle with MS.
She has said she is coming to terms with the impact of the condition, after suffering without a diagnosis for so long.
Blair said: “I was ashamed and I was doing the best I could and I was a great mother, but it was killing me.
“When I got the diagnosis I cried with some relief, like, ‘oh good, I’ll be able to do something’.”
She sought help from Michael J Fox, who has lived with Parkinson’s disease for decades.
Now Blair said she is happy to speak out about her experiences with MS.
She added: “No-one has the energy to talk when they’re in the middle of a flare-up, but I do – because I love a camera.”