People often think celebrities have it all – and in a material sense, they often do. Big houses, private jets, exotic vacations, beautiful clothes. And many use their wealth to take very good care of themselves – private chefs, personal trainers, nutritionists, yoga instructors, meditation retreats…you get the idea. But ultimately, they’re as human as you and me and that means they’re susceptible to many of the same ailments that afflict us.
Some are very private about their illnesses – Robin Williams suffered privately from Lewy Body Dementia; Gene Wilder had Alzheimer’s disease, something few knew about until his death; Prince suffered from debilitating pain which led to the opiate addition that ultimately took his life; and even though they seem to live fantastic lives, many suffer debilitating depression often leading to suicide – Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Chris Cornell.
Others are much more open and often share their experiences to raise awareness of their diseases and reduce the stigma other sufferers may be feeling. We’ve put together a partial list of some well-known celebrities who’ve gone public with their health issues.
Selma Blair – Multiple Sclerosis
The 46-year-old actress has starred in such films as Cruel Intentions, Hellboy, The Sweetest Thing and Legally Blond. In addition to her professional success, she’s the mother of a seven-year-old boy and is active in politics and charity work, particularly those that help children with illnesses.
In October of 2018 Blair went public with her recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She said that for nearly 15 years she had been experiencing symptoms often associated with the disease – muscle weakness, nerve pain and foggy memory – but that she was never formally diagnosed.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects the insulating tissue surrounding nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms vary but often include double vision, muscle weakness, lack of sensation and trouble with coordination. Initial diagnosis usually occurs between ages 20 and 50 and is twice as common in women as in men. Aside from suffering the physically debilitating effects, people with MS tend to have their life expectancies cut by 10-15 years. Over 2 million people worldwide currently live with MS.