Actress Selma Blair opened up in a candid post to her more than 800,000 Instagram followers about the often overlooked realities and struggles of living with multiple sclerosis, writing, "I choke with the pain of what I have lost and what I dare hope for."
"There is a truth with neurogedenerative brain disease. It is uncomfortable. It is a stadium of uncontrollable anxiety at times. Going out, being sociable holds a heavy price," she captioned her post, which showed her lying in bed holding a teddy bear she said once belonged to her sister. "My brain is on fire. I am freezing."
"I do my best," she wrote, responding to people who often ask her how she does it. "But I choke with the pain of what I have lost and what I dare hope for."
She added that it is "challenging" just to "walk around," but that her "smiles are genuine."
The "Legally Blonde" actress publicly revealed her MS diagnosis back in October, and has been openly posting about her health struggles and successes on social media.
MS is a disease of the brain and spinal cord (or central nervous system), according to The Mayo Clinic. Currently, there is no cure for the disease, but there are treatment options that can help modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms, according to the clinic's website.
The neurodegenerative disorder can cause problems with speech, motor functions and also vision, according to ABC News' chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
The cause of the disease is unknown, but many people with MS experience a waxing and waning course of ups and downs and highs and lows that can vary vastly between different people, Ashton added. The key is managing MS, as is it is a chronic condition.
One of the biggest difficulties people dealing with MS may face is that we often have a problem dealing with things we can't see, and as MS is a brain condition, you often cannot outwardly tell if someone is suffering from it, according to Ashton.
Support groups and awareness can really help with this, she added, as well as seeking out mental health treatment with counselors or therapists, as MS can often carry with it an emotional toll.