Christina Applegate Says She ‘Probably’ Had Multiple Sclerosis for ‘Six or Seven Years’ Before Official Diagnosis: ‘I Really Just Put It Off’

Christina Applegate is opening up about living with multiple sclerosis on “Good Morning America” in her first on-camera sit-down interview following her 2021 diagnosis.

“I live kind of in hell,” Applegate told host Robin Roberts. “I’m not out a lot, so this is a little difficult, just for my system. But of course, the support is wonderful and I’m really grateful.”

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Applegate participated in the interview — which aired in full on Wednesday — alongside “The Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who has been living with MS since she was 20 years old. The two were promoting their new podcast, “MeSsy,” which debuts March 19.

“I’m never going to wake up and go, ‘This is awesome.’ I’m just going to tell you that. Like, it’s not going to happen,” she continued. “I wake up and I’m reminded of it every day … 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 is by not going anywhere because I don’t want to do it. It’s hard.”

Applegate was officially diagnosed in 2021, when she noticed tingling in her toes during the filming of the final season of “Dead to Me.” But the actor said she was showing early symptoms of the disease for much longer than that.

“I probably had it for six or seven years, I think,” Applegate said. “I noticed, especially the first season [of ‘Dead to Me’], we’d be shooting and my leg would buckle. 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. But when it hit this hard, I had to pay attention.”

Applegate said it was actually her “The Sweetest Thing” co-star Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with MS in 2018, who encouraged her to get tested.

“She goes, ‘You need to be checked for MS.’ I said, ‘No…’ Really? The odds? Two of us from the same movie? C’mon, that doesn’t happen,” Applegate said. “She knew. If not for her, it could have been way worse.”

In January, Applegate received a standing ovation when she was a surprise presenter at the Emmys. “We don’t have to applaud every time I do something,” Applegate quipped as the audience roared with applause.

Of the Emmys moment, Applegate admitted that she “actually kind of blacked out.”

“People said, ‘Oh you were so funny,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what I said,'” Applegate said. “I don’t know what I was doing. I got so freaked out that I didn’t even know what was happening anymore. And I felt really beloved, and it was a beautiful thing.”

Applegate said in May 2023 that she likely wouldn’t appear on-camera anymore due to the autoimmune disease.

“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, if not the greatest human I’ve ever known,” Applegate told Vanity Fair of her “Dead to Me” co-star Linda Cardellini.

She added, “I can do voiceover stuff because I have to support my family and keep my brain working.”

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