Christina Applegate talked about living with multiple sclerosis in an interview with Vanity Fair, saying she may give up acting on camera due to the challenges of the disease.
Applegate, who first revealed her diagnosis in 2021, said with MS, “It’s never a good day.” The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it affects the central nervous system and can cause symptoms like fatigue, numbness, pain, memory problems and even blindness or paralysis. People with MS may experience it differently and its varying symptoms may last for differing lengths of time, according to the National MS Society.
“You just have little s***** days,” Applegate said. “People are like, ‘Well, why don’t you take more showers?’ Well, because getting in the shower is frightening. You can fall, you can slip, your legs can buckle. Especially because I have a glass shower. It’s frightening to me to get in there.”
“There are just certain things that people take for granted in their lives that I took for granted. Going down the stairs, carrying things—you can’t do that anymore. It f******* sucks. I can still drive my car short distances. I can bring up food to my kid. Up, never down.”
Applegate told Variety MS affects her balance and she said because she is immunocompromised, she doesn’t like to be around many people. So, friends don’t visit often. “I also don’t want a lot of stimulation of the nervous system because it can be a little bit too much for me. I like to keep it as quiet and as mellow as possible,” she said, adding that being loud crowds are “like 5,000 times louder for anyone who has lesions on their brains.”
Applegate said filming the third and final season of the TV show “Dead to Me” in 2021, during which she found out she had MS, was a “trying and taxing time.” She said now that the show has wrapped, she misses her co-stars. “I miss the experience of it, but at the same time, because it was such an incredible struggle this last year, I’m relieved that I no longer have to push so hard to get through my day.”
There are no tests to diagnose MS, but doctors look for similar signs and symptoms. While there is no known cure for the disease, symptoms can be treated with hopes of preventing them and slowing the progression of the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Some people may have mild cases that require no treatment, others may take anti-inflammatory drugs, do plasma treatments, or disease-modifying therapies – however, those can come with more health risks.
Actress Selma Blair, who worked with Applegate on the film “The Sweetest Thing,” was also diagnosed with MS in 2018. In an interview with “CBS Mornings” this week, Blair said she was “always sick” since her early 20s and was diagnosed with optic neuritis, a common symptom of MS, but did not know she had MS until her 40s.
“When I got the diagnosis at late 40-something, it seems, I was surprised — but then I was like ‘Oh of course,’ and when the doctor said the first night, ‘You’ve had this at least 25, 30 years, at least,’ I was happy. I needed it,” Blair said.
Last year, Blair departed “Dancing With The Stars” early due to health struggles caused by her MS. She told “CBS Mornings” she is now in remission with the help of a neurologist.