Selma Blair spent years trying to find a diagnosis for her pain. In 2018, the actress was finally given a diagnosis: multiple sclerosis. In an interview with Kristen Welker on "Meet the Press," the 51-year-old actress opened up about her journey, revealing that a doctor once told her to get a boyfriend to deal with her issues. "I just cried. I had no capability to process," she said of receiving that recommendation from a doctor. "What am I supposed to do with this information? 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 as she began to develop self-doubt at the time.
The "Cruel Intentions" actress shared that her heath issues began at a young age. "I had very clear signs at that time. I had optical neuritis as a child, which really is only from brain trauma or MS, and yet, they didn't recognize it in me, even though I was seeking doctors my entire childhood." She continued, "I had a fever of 101 [degrees] for five years, you know. It just never went away. I had CAT scans. I didn't have bladder function… I mean I spent my entire childhood on high antibiotics until I developed anaphylaxis like all of them. And yet it was just like, ‘Oh this dramatic girl.’ So that became my character and I'd blame myself. So I had a lot of medical trauma." She shared that as she grew older and was still experiencing pain, she continued to be dismissed by doctors. "When I was older there was so much medical trauma of always seeking. And doctors, really, they're taking advantage of that time or really just not seeing me, and it was a gender bias," she explained. "There would be a boy in my grade that would go in for the exact same chronic headache and fever, and he is, you know, in surgery and [given] a MRI within the week. I was never given an MRI even though I always had headaches and [a] fever, and balance [problems], or my leg didn't work. But they just said, ‘Oh, it’s just dramatic.'"
Blair also suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, a disorder related to MS that affects her speech. She is often seem walking with a cane and a service dog. "The period from 3 [years old] until about five years ago was hell on earth for me," she admitted of life since having a diagnosis. "And I'm not saying I had a horrible life. But the amount of discomfort, disbelief from kids at school, all the doctors, I couldn't trust myself. They were saying, ‘There's nothing wrong with you.'"