Selma Blair reveals a doctor once told her to get a BOYFRIEND after she sought help for agonizing MS symptoms – as she opens up about ‘daily pain’ she experiences even while in remission
- Blair, 51, opened up about the gender bias she faced before her MS diagnosis
- She recalled a doctor telling her a boyfriend may help with her chronic pain
- Blair was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 and is now in remission
Selma Blair has opened up about the shocking gender bias she faced from doctors before her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2018, revealing some of the comments she received while trying to seek help for her agonizing symptoms.
The Legally Blonde actress – who previously revealed that she attempted suicide while living with her health struggles before her diagnosis – sat down with Kristen Welker on Meet the Press on November 26, sharing some of the solutions medical professionals urged her to try to help with her pain.
The 51-year-old actress recalled the time a doctor suggested she get a boyfriend when she went in to seek help with the pain she was experiencing – admitting she burst into tears after hearing the the suggestion.
‘I just cried,’ Blair recalled. ‘I had no capability to process.’
Selma Blair has opened up about gender bias in medicine, revealing some of the comments she received before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018
Blair, 51, spoke with Meet the Press host Kristen Welker about some of the solutions medical professionals urged her to try to help with her pain
The Cruel Intentions star, who has been in remission since 2021, said she had no idea what to do with the suggestion.
‘I knew the pain was real. I thought it was. But I did start to convince myself, “You’re overly sensitive. There’s nothing wrong with you. Get it together, you lazy, lazy whatever,”‘ she said.
Blair, who has admitted to years of medical trauma prior to her MS diagnosis, said she has ‘so much medical trauma’ surrounding her health in the past due to doctors ‘taking advantage of that time’ or ‘really just not seeing me’ – dating all the way back to when she was a child.
‘And it was a gender bias, a lot of it, because there would be a boy in my grade that would go in for the exact same chronic headache and fever, and he is in surgery and an MRI within the week,’ she recalled, adding she never received a MRI even when she presented symptoms such as headaches and fever to balance issues.
‘But they just said, “Oh, just dramatic,” you know?’
Blair pointed out that when she was younger, many older male doctors assumed her symptoms and health issues were related to menstruation.
‘I think primarily when I was young… they were all older male doctors who probably did not know the intricacies of a girl and that everything does not need to be blamed on menstruation,’ she told Welker.
Blair recalled her diagnosis journey, saying she started experiencing symptoms when she was just seven-years-old, experiencing bouts of pain and high fevers that never went away.
The Cruel Intentions star, who has been in remission since 2021, said it was often assumed she was being dramatic with her symptoms
Blair, seen at the Glamour Women of the Year in November, pointed out that when she was younger, many older male doctors assumed her symptoms were related to menstruation
Welker recalled symptoms she experienced as a kid that were largely ignored, that were possibly symptoms of MS
‘I had very clear signs the time,’ she said. ‘I had optical neuritis as a child which really is only from brain trauma or MS. And yet, they didn’t recognize it even though I was seeking doctors my entire childhood.’
Despite entering remission in 2021, Blair said she is still in pain ‘every day.’
‘I have dystonia, also, that really doesn’t always flare up for entire conversations, but it’s almost like someone with a stutter maybe, or a type of Tourette’s,’ she explained. ‘So things go in and out. People don’t always understand that.’
She also recalled turning to alcohol to help her ease her pain, which lead to a dangerous path of self-destruction.
She previously opened up about a lifetime of alcohol abuse, revealing that she got drunk for the first time when she was just seven years old — and became an ‘expert alcoholic’ even as a child.
In her book Mean Baby, released in 2022, Mean Baby, she shared how she would sip alcohol to quell her anxiety through elementary school, middle school, and high school.
‘I don’t know if I would’ve survived childhood without alcoholism,’ she told People at the time of her book’s release. ‘That’s why it’s such a problem for a lot of people. It really is a huge comfort, a huge relief in the beginning.’
The actress has admitted in the past her diagnosis was a relief – as it explained the physical pain and neurological symptoms she had experienced since childhood.
Blair has opened up about motherhood amid her diagnosis, saying she had a ‘very hard’ start to being a parent.
The actress shares her son Arthur, 12, with her ex Jason Bleick, whom she dated from 2010 until 2012.
Blair opened up in her memoir about symptoms she experienced that were indicative of MS earlier in her life
Blair has opened up about a lifetime of alcohol abuse in her 2022 memoir, revealing that she got drunk for the first time when she was just seven years old
Blair shares Arthur with ex Jason Bleick, 53, who she dated from 2010 until 2012. In 2019 she praised him and said he’s ‘shown up in a big way’ since her MS diagnosis; seen in 2015
In an interview with Glamour Magazine in November 2023, she reflected on transitioning from ‘blissful pregnancy to utter devastation’ after giving birth in 2011.
‘The MS flared very obviously, when I was in labor,’ she explained. ‘My body started going through distress as bodies can, and, of course, I didn’t know I had it.
‘And so the moment Arthur was born, I went from this kind of blissful pregnancy to utter devastation,’ she continued.
Blair added: ‘Everything was too overwhelming. I couldn’t be in a relationship. There was nothing I could do except be a mother. And I was brutally tired and I didn’t have a support system. I didn’t know how to set one up.’
‘So even though I’m sociable and friendly, I’m alone for everything. And this child automatically became my biggest responsibility, my biggest love, but it was a very, very hard adjustment for me. Very hard.’
Blair has also opened up about her childhood and what she experienced before being diagnosed with MS at age 46 in her memoir, which was released in 2022.
In an expert shared by The Guardian, she wrote as her symptoms got worse and she suffered from ‘more and more episodes,’ the doctors she saw blamed: ‘hormones, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, malnutrition, my ‘neurasthenic’ nature.’
‘One doctor went so far as to tell me I might feel better if I had a boyfriend,’ she wrote. ‘Through all the symptoms, all the visits, I never once had an MRI. The only doctor who had mentioned multiple sclerosis as a possibility was my eye doctor, who saw me for eye pain when I was 22.’
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