Selma Blair Doc to Premiere at SXSW
- Actress Selma Blair, 48, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018 and her life and diagnosis is the subject of a new documentary, “Introducing Selma Blair,” premiering at South by Southwest this year.
- MS is a disease that affects the immune system and leads to the deterioration of the body’s nerves; Blair has used chemo to treat her disease.
- Coping with a difficult diagnosis like MS or cancer can be made more manageable with resources like support groups and therapy.
Selma’s MS Battle
Blair was diagnosed with MS in 2018, and despite this life-altering diagnosis, she’s managed to remain upbeat throughout her MS journey. Sharing the news with fans and followers, Blair also continues to raise awareness around this disease. MS affects the immune system and leads to the deterioration of the body’s nerves.
The actress shared the news of her diagnosis on Instagram and was admirably vulnerable when discussing her illness. she wrote: “I have multiple sclerosis. I am in an exacerbation…I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends…”
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In sharing her news, the actress managed to remain hopeful, too. Blair said: “…I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok.”
Blair had chemotherapy to help treat her disease. Chemo can be especially hard on the body, and its side effects may include nausea, fatigue, nerve pain, and hair loss. Newer technologies, like “cooling caps,” can help mitigate some of chemo’s side effects, like loss of hair.
Coping with a Diagnosis
Blair handled her diagnosis with grace and strength and continues to do so. We’re looking forward to seeing her emotional journey unfold in the documentary set to release at SXSW. Coping with a hard diagnosis takes time to process, and time to reckon with the difficult emotions like grief and anxiety, which may result.
Some people find therapy to be a helpful way to cope with a hard diagnosis, or after being touched by cancer. Camila Legaspi was in high school when her mother passed from breast cancer and she credits therapy with helping her through that difficult period.
In a previous interview, Legaspi said, “Therapy saved my life. I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on. Going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me … that I still had my family, that I still had my siblings.” Legaspi said that therapy helped her keep perspective. “The reality is when you lose someone, it’s really, really, really hard. And it’s totally OK to talk to someone, and I’m so happy that I talked to my therapist.”