Doctors told me I was being “dramatic”. Selma Blair says her MS diagnosis was delayed by gender bias.

Her MS was repeatedly misdiagnosed as menstrual issues.

Selma Blair, the talented actress known for her roles in Legally Blonde, Cruel Intentions and The Sweetest Thing, was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in August 2018.

Since then, Selma has been extremely vocal about her experience to advocate and raise awareness for the condition.

In 2021, she filmed documentary Introducing, Selma Blair, which highlighted how her life had changed since being diagnosed with MS.

Then in 2022, Selma released a memoirMean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up – which heavily details her condition and the struggles she’s faced as a result of her various symptoms.

selma blair ms

Most recently, the 51-year-old spoke of the “gender bias” she experienced as a young woman. Selma told Meet The Press in November 2023 that when she was younger, doctors misdiagnosed her MS symptoms as “menstruation” side effects.

“I had very clear signs at that time, [that I had] optic neuritis as a child – which is only from brain trauma or MS – and yet they didn’t recognise it immediately, even though I was seeking doctors my entire childhood,” Selma began.

“And it was a gender bias, 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.

“I was never given an MRI even though I always had headaches and fevers and balance [issues] or my leg didn’t work. They just said, ‘Oh [you’re being] dramatic,’” she continued.

selma blair ms

How did Selma Blair know she had MS?

Selma has said in numerous interviews that she suffered from multiple MS symptoms, like losing use of her right eye, having no bladder control, and waking up in the middle of the night laughing uncontrollably, since the age of 7.

However, doctors often dismissed her, which is why she wasn’t formally diagnosed with MS until 2018 – when she was 46-years-old.

In February 2018, Selma walked in a show during New York Fashion Week, and she told Town & Country that, “It was on that runway, with the thrill of walking in the show, that I suddenly lost feeling in my left leg.”

Six months later, doctors found lesions on Selma’s brain and she was finally given a diagnosis.

Has Selma Blair recovered from MS?

Sadly, MS is incurable. So while different treatments can help slow its progression, people suffering from the condition – like Selma Blair – will never fully recover from it.

selma blair ms

Selma has said that an intense treatment that she underwent in 2019 did help her though, and she’s been in remission since 2021.

“I did an entire HSTC, which is a hematopoietic bone marrow transplant. So, we harvested from my own bone marrow before I was exposed to many, many days of deep chemo… I immediately felt better; I never felt better than when I was on chemo,” she told Meet The Press.

What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis, commonly referred to as ‘MS’, is a chronic neurological disorder characterised by the immune system’s misguided attack on the central nervous system.

This autoimmune response leads to inflammation, demyelination, and the formation of scar tissue, disrupting the normal transmission of electrical impulses along the nerves. The resulting damage can manifest in a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, impaired coordination, muscle weakness, and problems with vision, sensation, or cognition.

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