Christina Applegate’s daughter says ‘it’s hard’ seeing her mom ‘struggle’ with MS diagnosis

Christina Applegate’s daughter says ‘it’s hard’ seeing her mom ‘struggle’ with MS diagnosis

Christina Applegate’s daughter Sadie has opened up about how she’s been impacted by her mother’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Dead to Me star, 52, was joined by her 13-year-old daughter during an episode of her podcast, MeSsy, which she hosts with fellow actor Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Applegate introduced Sadie, who she shares with husband Martyn LeNoble, as “my favorite guest we could possibly ever have.”

The teenager explained during the June 25 episode that it was her idea to appear on the podcast, as she discussed how she’s been affected by Applegate’s MS diagnosis – which the actor publicly announced in 2021.

“It’s been really hard watching my mom going from this person who could get up and dance every night. I remember when I was a kid, we would dance in her room for hours at a time,” Sadie said. “In 2021 when she got diagnosed, it kind of just felt like, not like everything was over, but it was hard seeing my mom lose a lot of the abilities she used to have in my childhood.”

“It’s definitely hard seeing my mom struggle with this,” she added.

While the 13-year-old admitted that it’s been “really difficult” to see her mother experience difficult MS symptoms, she noted that it’s also been “nice” to “help her and support her” during those moments.

Applegate, who welcomed her only child with her musician husband in 2011, confessed that she feels “incredibly guilty” when she’s having a bad day with her MS diagnosis. “I don’t ever want you to feel that I’m not capable to be your protector, your mother, you know, I love you,” the Married... with Children alum said. “I want to make you food. I want to bring it to you. I want to do all the things and I do when I can. And I feel incredibly guilty when I can’t.”

Christina Applegate and her daughter, Sadie (Getty Images)
Christina Applegate and her daughter, Sadie (Getty Images)

The Anchorman star’s daughter then revealed how her mother’s diagnosis has allowed her to focus on her own health journey. Sadie shared that she was recently diagnosed with POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which causes her to experience weakness in her legs, dizziness, or feeling like she’s going to pass out.

The 13-year-old explained that receiving her diagnosis of POTS, which commonly affects women aged 15 to 50, has made it “easier” to understand Applegate’s symptoms.

“When my mom’s like, ‘I’m in pain right now. I’m having tremors.’ If I didn’t have [POTS], I probably would be like, ‘I don’t really care. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ But I actually have tremors from POTS,” Sadie said. “It’s definitely a lot easier to understand what she’s going through when I have something I’m going through as well.”

In August 2021, Applegate publicly revealed she had been living with MS just a few months after her diagnosis. “Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS,” she posted to social media at the time. “It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition.”

She continued: “It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”

MS is a lifelong condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord. The disease occurs when the body attacks myelin – the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers – sometimes causing a breakdown of communication between the brain and other parts of the body, the Mayo Clinic states. According to the National MS Society, more than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the immune disorder, with women being more than two to three times as likely as men to develop the disease.

Signs and symptoms of MS can vary widely between patients, with some people experiencing mobility issues, partial or complete loss of vision, or balance issues. While there is no cure for MS, there are a variety treatments that can help speed the recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease, and manage symptoms.

Earlier this month, the Bad Moms star caused concern when she claimed that she no longer enjoys being alive with MS. Speaking on her MeSsy podcast, Applegate said she felt “a real, f***-it-all depression, like a real depression, where it’s kind of scaring me too a little bit because it feels really fatalistic, it feels really end of.”

Applegate said she called her therapist to make an appointment for the following week “which was a big thing for me to do”.

Following the episode, the actor clarified that although she has struggled with her mental health due to MS, she is not “sitting here on suicide watch”.

“I was talking about some dark stuff that I was thinking and feeling,” she told podcast co-host and The Sopranos alum Sigler, who is also a fellow MS survivor. “There’s so much shame a lot of people feel when they’re going through mental health issues.”

She acknowledged that not vocalizing dark emotions gives those feelings “immense power”, while sharing them with others can be “incredibly healing” and are “important to express,” regardless of whether it makes other people “uncomfortable”.

“By making such a big deal about it you’re making other people think, ‘Oh, s***. I can’t talk about this.’ And that is not okay with me,” Applegate added. “It’s important to be able to say these things. And, no, I’m not sitting here on suicide watch, okay? I am not. Nor have I ever been.”