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Selma Blair Reveals She Attempted Suicide Because Of Pain Of Undiagnosed MS

Selma Blair Reveals She Attempted Suicide Because Of Pain Of Undiagnosed MS

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Selma Blair is getting incredibly honest about the struggles she faced before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

In a powerful new cover story for British Vogue‘s Reframing Fashion issue, which featured 19 disabled talents and came out on Thursday, the actress revealed she attempted suicide due to the pain of her MS before she had been diagnosed. The 50-year-old shared:

“As an adult, the lassitude and anxiety became terrifying, actually. I made mistakes. Wished myself dead. Attempted suicide. A few times. Out of desperation.”

Whoa. So, so sad. The pain must have been excruciating.

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This is not the only time Selma has opened up about having attempted suicide. In her memoir, Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up, she revealed she swallowed a bottle of Tylenol, chased it with tequila, and hid in her boyfriend’s closet (while he was asleep) after he broke up with her in college. At the last minute, she panicked and woke him up. His mother was upstairs and called poison control and rushed her to the hospital.

Selma’s mother had told her as a child to speak up if life ever became unbearable for her. When she told her about what had happened, she expected to hear words of wisdom, but instead, it tore a wedge between them:

“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.”


Due to the symptoms of her undiagnosed illness that she was plagued with for much of her life, the Cruel Intentions star often used to mask her pain by self-medicating on film sets, she explained to British Vogue:

“Sets were excruciating sometimes with the exhaustion and the tics. I took benzos and Klonopin (used to prevent seizures and anxiety disorders). 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 continued:

“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 alum went on to say she would suffer from vomiting, hair loss, rashes, and was diagnosed with cat scratch fever and possible leukemia while working on 2004’s Hellboy in Prague, but she didn’t tell anymore for fear she would “be found out.” This time in her life filled her with “terror,” she explained:

“I remember being very, very poorly on Hellboy and was diagnosed with cat scratch fever and possible leukemia in Prague. I couldn’t tell anybody. I couldn’t admit alcoholism or [access] treatment in my insurance for fear I’d be deemed an insurance risk. I fell apart once I got back to LA.”

Oof. Hate that she felt she had to hide this.

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On her exit from Hollywood in 2009 after filming the US television remake of Kath & Kim, she said:

“My autoimmune system was misfiring… losing most of my hair and all of my energy. I kinda bowed out [after the show]. It was a French exit and everybody else stayed at the party… My self-hatred was extreme. I could not manage well and I couldn’t even try to find work… It was a running joke. How far was the audition? How many naps would I fit in on the side of the road before and after? [When I quit acting] I spent my days in bed, crying, sometimes binge drinking, sometimes reading and sleeping, seeing doctors and healers… I gave up almost until the diagnosis. I was always terrified I would be deemed incapable. Or mentally unsound. My mother taught me that was death for a woman career-wise.”

Selma lived with “40 years of pain” before she was ultimately diagnosed with MS in 2018. Such a long time to be suffering without answers. Thankfully, The Sweetest Thing alum has found a new sense of strength after coming out with her MS diagnosis in her 2022 memoir and her intimate documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair. Not to mention she was one of Dancing With The Stars‘ rare disabled contestants last year, though she had to drop out early. While she’s not looking for acting roles at this time, she does believe it would be “doable” with her MS.

Elsewhere in the interview, the mother of one’s friend and former co-star Christina Applegate also revealed Selma was the one who encouraged her to get tested for MS after she was experiencing tingling in her feet. She was diagnosed in 2021 and has been able to have a “better quality of life” ever since. Incredible!

Take a look at Selma’s absolutely inspiring and gorgeous photo spread (below)!

Such a breathtaking photo shoot!!! Fans praised the cover, writing on Twitter:

“Selma Blair looks like a super hero with her cape and I love how the photograph celebrates her cane.”

“great decision for a special”

“You’re so strong! You got this & are an inspiration”

It truly is so stunning, and it’s equally powerful to her Selma get so candid about how this illness has affected both her physical and mental health. We’re so glad she’s finally found some answers! Reactions? Let us know (below)!

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at or check out

[Image via MEGA/WENN]

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Apr 21, 2023 07:19am PDT