Actress Christina Applegate is discussing her ongoing battle with multiple sclerosis, detailing symptoms that she initially ignored before being formally diagnosed in 2021.

Prior to being told she had MS, Applegate remembers feeling a tingling sensation while filming the final season of her Netflix series, “Dead to Me.”

“My symptoms had started in the early part of 2021, and it was, like, literally just tingling on my toes. And by the time we started shooting in the summer of that same year, I was being brought to set in a wheelchair. Like, I couldn’t walk that far,” she explained on “Good Morning America” with Robin Roberts. “So I had to tell everybody, because I needed help.”


Applegate believes she had likely been suffering from the disease for much longer, but explained how she’d ignored other symptoms. “I probably had it for many, many years,” she told Roberts. “Probably six or seven years.”

“I noticed, especially the first season [of ‘Dead to Me’] we’d be shooting and I would like, buckle. Like my leg would buckle. I really just kind of put it off as being tired. Or ‘I’m dehydrated’ or ‘It’s the weather,'” Applegate noted of her dismissiveness. “And then nothing would happen for like, months. And I didn’t pay attention.” 

According to the Mayo Clinic, MS “is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).” It “attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerve fibers.”

“But when it hit this hard, I had to pay attention,” Applegate continued, of eventually seeking medical intervention. Thanks to her friend and fellow actress Selma Blair, who also battles the disease, Applegate got tested for MS.

“She goes, ‘You need to be checked for MS.’ I said, ‘No. Really? The odds? The two of us from the same movie, come on. That’s not gonna be – that doesn’t happen.’ She knew,” Applegate shared of her “The Sweetest Thing” co-star. “If not for her, it could have been way worse.”


Applegate also credits great friend and fellow MS warrior Jamie-Lynn Sigler on getting her through the tough days, of which there are many.

“I’m flipping the bird all day long at this thing. And I’m angry. I’m really, really p—–. You know I was a dancer and a runner and all these things that I love. And a mom, and it’s like, mmm,” she said with a grimace. “And [Sigler’s] like, ‘OK, I have you. And you are going to be OK.’”

In a joint interview with People magazine, the women joked about the negatives of MS. “Well, you pee… in your pants. Because you probably can’t get to the bathroom in time. So yeah, diapers,” Applegate said, of the disease. “And we have a bone to pick with the designers, because who wants a beautiful flower on your diaper? It should really say, ‘F— my life,’” Sigler joked.


As debilitating as the disease is, Applegate has clearly not lost her humor or wit. “It sucks, it’s not my favorite disease. I’ve had a couple,” she told Roberts, referencing her previous diagnosis of breast cancer. “It’s not my favorite one.”

“I’m never gonna wake up and go, ‘This is awesome.’ I’m just gonna tell you that. Like it’s just not gonna happen. I wake up and I’m reminded of it every day,” she said. “But I might get to a place where I will function a little bit better.”