Selma Blair Talks About How Multiple Sclerosis Made Her Brain ‘Glitchy’

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Selma Blair is the true embodiment of “no filter.” She’s incredibly transparent with her fans about her life, and she only became more open after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2018.

Selma recently shared a photo on Instagram of herself lying in a hammock while wearing a robe. In the caption, she wrote a stream-of-consciousness-style paragraph about her thoughts, including the state of her health.

“I am awake. I have a headache,” she began.

She went on to share a range of rapid-fire thoughts about being born in the Midwest, what happens when we die, and her mom.

She also admitted that it’s not easy being this vulnerable.

“I don’t want to post pictures of myself,” she wrote.

“I feel in transition. Vulnerable. But I am here. Thinking. Thinking.”

In the post, Selma also described her brain as “glitchy,” recalling an incident in a restaurant with her boyfriend, David Lyons. This “glitchiness” is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis.

Life with MS is complicated — it’s hard and beautiful and sad and scary and so much more.

Selma Blair was diagnosed with the disease in 2018, and since revealing her diagnosis to the public, she has become an outspoken MS advocate. She’s as open as she can possibly be about life with the disease, and she often connects with fans on the subject.

Recently, Selma shared a long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness caption alongside a photo of herself lying in a hammock. In the photo, she is wearing a white terrycloth robe and not much else to speak of.

The caption is truly a glimpse inside of her mind.

First, Selma shared that she had a headache. Then she continued to share wherever her thoughts were going.

“I am thinking about the children lost in the crossing,” she wrote. “The baby found in a bag. The first man to show her love. I hear the thunder crack.”

She found herself thinking about her childhood in the Midwest, and about how scared she is of dying and leaving her son.

“I am back in the Midwest. Where I was born,” she said. “I wonder what happens when we die. I shut my eyes against it. I open them wide again. I don’t ever want to leave my son. What if he needs me. One day. More than he seems to now.”

Her mind jumped around to many more topics, including her walking bike, Chernobyl, and her mom.

“I rode around the city yesterday,” she said. “Chatting with people about the walking bike I use. Meeting children and parents. Happy to let them know there are fun ways to get around if you need help.”

Then she shared an anecdote about her “glitchy” brain.

“I asked my beau if he thought the bathroom was inside the restaurant yesterday. As opposed to outside. And my glitchy brain was sincere,” she wrote. “We roared with laughter.”

A “glitchy” brain is a common symptom of MS, and Selma has referred to it before. Per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, about 50% of people with the disease experience cognitive changes, such as their ability to learn and remember new information or problem-solve. Or, in Selma’s case, their ability to remember where bathrooms usually are.

“Things are so strange,” Selma wrote. “I am doing my best to take care of health.”

She added that she doesn’t really want to post photos of herself — and that she fell out of the hammock right after the photo was snapped.

But these posts are incredibly meaningful to her fans, especially those who also suffer from MS or similar diseases.

“You inspire bravery in us when you share your fears,” one fan wrote.

“Thank you for your fearless honesty,” another said.

This is far from the first time that Selma has opened up about life with multiple sclerosis. Just a few days earlier, she wrote about the emotional support dog that she has been using to help her cope.

Selma’s dog Pippa is more than just a pet, she says.

“When my heart races with anxiety, this dog burrows in and calms me. And Arthur. We love you #Pippa.”

Having a pet does prove to reduce anxiety in many people, and we’re so glad Selma has a fuzzy friend to help her.

Selma also shares other useful tools with her fans, like the walking bike that she uses to get around town.

People with multiple sclerosis often have mobility issues due to the nerve damage the disease causes that results in disrupted communication between the brain and the body. As she says, she sometimes can’t go places on her “own two feet.”

“Sometimes I have to sit down and roll with the punches,” she wrote.

And before that, Selma broke ground by bringing her cane to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party red carpet and opening up a dialogue about canes and MS. It was her first public appearance with the cane, though she’d already opened up about using one on Instagram.

Her vulnerability and willingness to use her voice no matter what is truly an inspiration!