Selma Blair has been publicly fighting multiple sclerosis since 2018, but it’s only recently that she’s decided to open up about some of the comments she received from doctors prior to her diagnosis.
The Cruel Intentions star sat down with Kristen Welker on Meet the Press and discussed how one doctor advised her to seek out a boyfriend to help relieve the pain she was experiencing.
“I just cried.”
For years, the 51-year-old’s health issues were “blamed on menstruation.”
“I think primarily when I was young….they were all older male doctors who probably did not know the intricacies of a girl and that everything does not need to be blamed on menstruation,” she explained.
When she was young, a boy in her class “would go in for the exact same chronic headache and fever, and he is in surgery and an MRI within the week.”
Yet when she complained of the same chronic symptoms, she was told she was being “dramatic.”
“They can be disguised as emotional things. I have prefrontal damage that would cause hysterical crying and laughing,” the actress and advocate added.
It wasn’t until 2018 that Blair was diagnosed with MS and finally able to begin receiving the proper treatment. She entered remission from the condition in 2021.
As her symptoms continued to grow worse, Blair sought help from more doctors. Although few were able to offer her any suggestions, except one, who she said contributed to negative self-talk.
“One doctor went so far as to tell me I might feel better if I had a boyfriend,” she said.
Her initial reaction was tears.
“I had no capability to process. ‘What am I supposed to do with this information?’ I knew the pain was real. I thought it was. But I did start to convince myself, ‘You’re overly sensitive. There’s nothing wrong with you. Get it together, you lazy, lazy whatever.’”
Despite suffering “so much medical trauma,” Blair has used her voice to spread awareness about MS.
It’s absolutely disgraceful that a doctor suggested she get a boyfriend to help with her pain. If a doctor could suggest that to Selma Blair, imagine what some doctors are suggesting to the general population.
We need doctors to show more compassion and empathy for their patients.
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