Christina Applegate on the Toll MS Has Taken on Her Life and Career

Christina Applegate
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Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Aug. 2021.

Christina Applegate is getting real about the toll multiple sclerosis has had on her life and career.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Applegate, who was diagnosed with MS back in 2021 said simply, "It f**king sucks."

"With the disease of MS, it's never a good day. You just have little sh*tty days. People are like, 'Well, why don't you take more showers?" Well, because getting in the shower is frightening. You can fall, you can slip, your legs can buckle. Especially because I have a glass shower. It’s frightening to me to get in there," Applegate explained. "There are just certain things that people take for granted in their lives that I took for granted. Going down the stairs, carrying things -- you can't do that anymore. It f**king sucks. I can still drive my car short distances. I can bring up food to my kid. Up, never down."

Going downstairs, Applegate added, is especially a struggle because MS impacts your balance.

"Yeah, and gravity can just pull you down and take everything down with you," she said. "So, we have this little thing at the top of the stairs that we call 'purgatory.' So, if anyone's done with anything upstairs, we put it in purgatory so one of my able friends can bring it downstairs."

The Dead to Me actress has friends who do come by and help her and her 12-year-old daughter, Sadie, though she doesn't always want to be around a lot of people, no matter how well-meaning those visitors may be.

"I know that sounds like, 'Yay!' But I actually don't want to be around a lot of people because I'm immunocompromised," Applegate shared. "I have my friend who lives here during the week, and she helps me take care of Sadie. "And then on the weekend, I have a caretaker. I also don't want a lot of stimulation of the nervous system because it can be a little bit too much for me. I like to keep it as quiet and as mellow as possible."

She added, "It's exhausting. Imagine just being in a crowd of people and how loud that is. It’s like 5,000 times louder for anyone who has lesions on their brains."

While there are not many people in her life who can relate to what she's going through, Applegate said she's grateful to have friends like Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Selma Blair who are also navigating MS and navigating life as a working actress with the disease.

"It's impossible for anyone else to understand. And we know that. And we're not trying to make people understand because they never will understand," she said. "But yes, it is imperative for me to have people who say, 'It's 80 degrees. What the fuck are we gonna do?' People don't understand that heat makes us sicker. And the disease attacks different parts of our bodies. It can attack your organs, it can attack your digestive system. Hence why I sometimes have to end up in the hospital."

As she's previously mentioned, Dead to Me may mark her last time acting on camera, and the break away from set will be a much-needed one for Applegate.

"I can't even imagine going to set right now. This is a progressive disease," the 51-year-old actress added. I don't know if I'm going to get worse. I can do voiceover stuff because I have to support my family and keep my brain working."

As for her last public appearance, Applegate recently made a rare public appearance at the 2023 SAG Awards in late February, where she posed on the red carpet with a cane that had the message "FU MS" written at the bottom of it.

For more on Applegate's battle with MS, check out the links below.