Selma Blair reveals she attempted suicide while living with health complications of MS before her diagnosis as she is hailed a ‘superhero’ for starring in British Vogue issue featuring disabled talents
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or go to samaritans.org
Selma Blair has said she attempted suicide when she was living with the health ramifications of multiple scleorsis but had not yet been diagnosed.
The actress, 50, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August 2018, told how many symptoms manifested much earlier in her life which caused her great anxiety.
Speaking to British Vogue, she said: ‘As an adult, the lassitude and anxiety became terrifying, actually. I made mistakes. Wished myself dead. Attempted suicide. A few times. Out of desperation.’
Selma said she would often have to mask her symptoms while working on film sets and would self-medicate to help cope with pain.
She said: ‘Sets were excruciating sometimes with the exhaustion and the tics. I took benzos and Klonopin (used to prevent seizures and anxiety disorders).
Candid: Selma Blair has said she attempted suicide when she was living with the health ramifications of multiple scleorsis but had not yet been diagnosed
‘I didn’t abuse those things, just alcohol. But I was lost and sad and could hardly ever smile. Hence my roles, I imagine.’
She added: ‘I was worried since the beginning of time that a glaring fault would remove me from the workforce. And usually it was my incoordination or getting stuck, too weak or sick, in my trailer – or any time, really.’
The Legally Blonde star said she would suffer with vomiting, hair loss and rashes and was diagnosed with cat scratch fever and possible leukaemia while working on the movie Hellboy.
Selma has been praised for appearing on the Vogue cover, being described as a ‘superhero’ for the ‘fantastic’ pictures.
Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: ‘Selma Blair looks like a super hero with her cape and I love how the photograph celebrates her cane.’
Another commented: ‘So happy to see the stunning @SelmaBlair on @BritishVogue Cover! Fantastic job @CondeNast, and the pictures are just awesome!’
A third tweeted: ‘Brilliant. @edwardennin70 great decision for a special,’ and another added: ‘Fantastic feature – thank you.’
Selma took a break from the acting industry in 2009 after filming the US remake of Kath & Kim, saying her autoimmune system was ‘misfiring’.
Interview: The actress, 50, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August 2018, told how many symptoms manifested much earlier in her life which caused her great anxiety
Praise: Selma has been praised for appearing on the Vogue cover, being described as a ‘superhero’ for the ‘fantastic’ pictures
Star: Another version of the Reframing Fashion cover featured model Ellie Goldstein, 21, who has Down syndrome and has worked on campaigns with Nike and Superdrug
Glam: American sign language interpreter Justina Miles also took to the cover in a stunning strapless red leather-look dress
She said she would often spend her days in bed crying during this period and worried her health issues would prevent her from working again.
However, going public with her MS diagnosis brought many positives for the star, who wrote a bestselling memoir called Mean Baby in 2022.
She was also one of the few disabled contestants to take part on Dancing With The Stars, but had to withdraw during the show on health grounds.
The star said she is not looking for acting work at the moment but does believe working in movies would be ‘doable’ with her MS.
The actress was one of a number of noteable figures taking part in British Vogue’s Reframing Fashion issue which features 19 disabled talents.
Elsewhere during the interview, Selma’s friend and former co-star Christina Applegate credited Selma with telling her to get tested for MS.
Christina, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2021, said Selma told her to get tested for MS immediately after she mentioned she had a strange tingling in her feet.
Christina added that she will now have a ‘better quality of life’ because of Selma.
Modelling: Aaron Rose Philip also appeared on the cover in a glamorous black silk dress. In 2018, Aaron, 22, became the first transgender and physically disabled model to be represented by a major modelling agency
Health: Before her diagnosis, Selma would suffer with vomiting, hair loss and rashes and was diagnosed with cat scratch fever and possible leukaemia while working on the movie Hellboy (pictured in Hellboy, 2008)
Hiatus: She later took a break from the acting industry in 2009 after filming the US remake of Kath & Kim, saying her autoimmune system was ‘misfiring’ (pictured in 2022)
Selma’s candid interview comes after she previously told how she tried to take her own life in college after her boyfriend broke up with her, saying she swallowed a bottle of Tylenol and chased it with tequila while hiding in his closet.
The actress has detailed her painful past and her decades-long struggle with alcoholism in Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up.
Selma said she dated her physical education horse trainer, Todd, but didn’t know how to handle the end of their relationship. After he broke up with her, she waited until he was asleep and went into his closet.
She tried taking her own life by swallowing a bottle of Tylenol and chasing it with tequila, but she changed her mind right before she was about to pass out.
Support: Selma’s friend and former co-star Christina Applegate credited Selma with telling her to get tested for MS (Christina pictured in February 2023)
Career: Selma said she is not looking for acting work at the moment but does believe working in movies would be ‘doable’ with her MS (pictured with her support dog, Scout)
In a panic, she woke up Todd and explained what she had done. His mother lived upstairs, and she was the one who called poison control and took her to the hospital.
Selma said she had promised her mother as a child that she would tell her if life became unbearable for her. When she revealed that she tried to kill herself, she expected words of wisdom. Instead, her mother told her she was dead to her.
‘It’s the worst thing she did to me. I know I broke her trust,’ she told Elle magazine of her late mother, who died in 2020.
‘I had tried to kill myself — even if it was only for ten minutes. As outlandish and critical as she was, she would never get over one of us dying, especially by our own hand. I was dead to her for two years — either as punishment or perhaps she was bracing herself for the next time.’
See the full feature in the May issue of British available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 25th April.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or go to samaritans.org.
WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?
Multiple sclerosis (known as MS) is a condition in which the immune system attacks the body and causes nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord.
It is an incurable, lifelong condition. Symptoms can be mild in some, and in others more extreme causing severe disability.
MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide – including around one million in the US, and 100,000 in the UK.
It is more than twice as common in women as it is in men. A person is usually diagnosed in their 20s and 30s.
The condition is more commonly diagnosed in people of European ancestry.
The cause isn’t clear. There may be genes associated with it, but it is not directly hereditary. Smoking and low vitamin D levels are also linked to MS.
Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, vision problems, bladder problems, numbness or tingling, muscle stiffness and spasms, problems with balance and co-ordination, and problems with thinking, learning and planning.
The majority of sufferers will have episodes of symptoms which go away and come back, while some have ones which get gradually worse over time.
Symptoms can be managed with medication and therapy.
The condition shortens the average life expectancy by around five to 10 years.
Source: Read Full Article