Everything Christina Applegate Has Said About Her Multiple Sclerosis Battle

Christina Applegate vowed be frank about her struggles with multiple sclerosis—an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system—no matter how painful it could get. Here's everything she's said.

By Gabrielle Chung Mar 30, 2024 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Christina Applegate Battling 30 Lesions on her Brain Amid Painful MS Journey

Christina Applegate isn't afraid to be frank about multiple sclerosis.

In fact, the Dead to Me star has been candid about her struggles with the disease—which is caused when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system—since receiving her diagnosis in 2021. Though the illness has left Christina with multiple brain lesions, chronic pain and mobility issues, the 52-year-old refuses to let it get her down, approaching the topic of her health journey with humor and honesty.

"I make these jokes because if I don't, I'll suffocate. I'll be done," she explained on the March 25 episode of Armchair Expert. "I'm not ready for the healing yet. I will get there."

And after surviving cancer, Christina's learned not to sugarcoat matters concerning her health.

"My first interview was with Robin Roberts when I had cancer and I'm sitting there lying my a-- off about how I felt," recalled the Married...With Children alum, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. "I fell into the wall and sobbed because it was a lie. Everything I was saying was a freaking lie. It was me trying to convince myself of something, and I think that did no service to anyone."

A Look at Christina Applegate's Unforgettable Roles

So, when Christina recently sat down with Robin again—this time to discuss her MS journey—she didn't mince words.



Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

"I live kind of in hell," she bluntly told the Good Morning America anchor earlier this month, adding that she's "really, really pissed" to be diagnosed with MS. "I'm never going to wake up and go, ‘This is awesome.'"

Christina added, "But I might get to a place where I function a little bit better. Right now, I'm isolating, and that's kind of how I'm dealing with it."

For more of Christina's MS battle, keep reading. 

Health Journey

Christina Applegate shared she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021.

"Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS," she shared on her social media channels that August. "It's been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It's been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a--hole blocks it."

First Public Appearance

"Oh, by the way, I have a disease," she joked during her November 2022 Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony, her first public appearance since her MS diagnosis. "Did you not notice? I'm not even wearing shoes."

Early Symptoms

Christina believes her MS journey actually began "six or seven years" before her 2021 diagnosis.

"I noticed, especially the first season [of Dead to Me], we'd be shooting and my leg would buckle," Christina explained during a March 2024 interview on Good Morning America. "I really just put it off as being tired, or I'm dehydrated, or it's the weather. Then nothing would happen for months, and I didn't pay attention."

By the time she was shooting the Netflix series' third and final season, the actress said she was "being brought to set in a wheelchair."

"I couldn't move that far," she recalled, "so I had to tell everybody because I needed help."

Making Moves

The Dead to Me star captioned this photo of her cane collection amid her battle with MS: "Walking sticks are now part of my new normal."

Strong Statement

Joined by her daughter Sadie Grace LeNoble, Christina had a simple message for multiple sclerosis while attending the 2023 SAG Awards: "F U MS."

Just Jokes

After a receiving standing ovation at the 2023 Emmys, the Married...With Children alum quipped, "You're totally shaming me with disability by standing up."

Healing Through Humor

"I make these jokes because if I don't, I'll suffocate," Christina shared on a March 2024 episode on Armchair Expert, explaining why she often pokes fun at her condition. "I'll be done."

MS On Her Mind

"I have 30 lesions on my brain," she said on the same podcast. "My biggest one is behind my right eye, so my right eye hurts a lot."

Legions are caused by the immune system attacking the myelin sheath around nerves, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Getting Candid

Christina hasn’t held back when it comes to sharing her journey. 

"It sucks," the Anchorman actress told late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel of her daily struggles with MS. "I'm not going to lie. I think anyone who has MS isn't going to be like, 'This is the best thing that ever happened to me!'"

In Her Bubble

When talking about her day-to-day life with the disease, Christina told Good Morning America in March 2024, "I live kind of in hell."

"But I might get to a place where I function a little bit better," she added. "Right now, I'm isolating, and that's kind of how I'm dealing with it—by not going anywhere because I don't want to do it. It's hard." 

The Sweetest Support

Christina credited her Sweetest Thing costar Selma Blair—who was diagnosed with MS in 2018—for urging her to get tested for the disease.

"She said, 'You need to get checked for MS,'" Christina recalled during her GMA interview. "If not for her, it could've been way worse."

Friendship Never Dies

Christina confirmed that Dead to Me will likely be her last onscreen credit, telling Vanity Fair in May 2023, "I can’t even imagine going to set right now."

"I’m probably not going to work on-camera again, but I'm so glad that I went out with someone who is by far the greatest actress I’ve ever worked with in my entire life," she said of costar Linda Cardellini, "if not the greatest human I’ve ever known.

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