Christina Applegate received a massive applause from the audience when she showed up to the 2023 Emmy Awards on Monday, January 15. The actress walked on stage with the aid of a cane amid her MS diagnosis and fans are curious about exactly what’s wrong with her.

What Does Christina Applegate Have?

Christina has multiple sclerosis (MS). She announced her diagnosis in a post on X (formerly Twitter) in August 2021. 

“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS,” she shared. “It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a–hole blocks it.”

MS is a disease that attacks the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord, according to the Mayo Clinic. While symptoms of the debilitating illness can differ between patients, some of those who suffer the disease lose the ability to walk. The Dead to Me star uses a cane to assist with walking amid her battle with MS. 

“I put on 40 pounds. I can’t walk without a cane,” the actress told The New York Times in 2022. “I want people to know that I’m very aware of all that.”

What Has Christina Applegate Said About Her MS?

“I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me,” Christina shared. “I needed that time [off of work]. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed.”

whats wrong with christina applegate ms

Looking back, Christina said she noticed balance issues while filming season 1 of Dead to Me, but had no idea that it was because of the diagnosis she eventually received. “I wish I had paid attention,” she admitted. “But who was I to know?”

Seeing herself on screen after the diagnosis was hard for the Married…With Children star. “I don’t like seeing myself struggling,” Christina explained. “I gained 40 pounds because of inactivity and medication and I didn’t look like myself and I didn’t feel like myself.” However, she added, “At some point I was able to distance myself from my own ego.”

In May 2023, she shared just how difficult life with MS was. “It’s never a good day,” Christina shared. “Going down the stairs, carrying things … you can’t do that anymore. It f–king sucks.”

Did Christina Applegate Retire From Acting? 

Christina was in the midst of filming season 3 of her Netflix series Dead to Me when she received her MS diagnosis. Production of the show was put on hold. “We love and support Christina and respect her privacy as she takes the time and space she needs in this moment,” Netflix said in a statement at the time. 

Production eventually resumed. “I had an obligation,” Christina explained. “The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s just put a few episodes together.’ I said, ‘No, we’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.’”

Christina said that filming the show amid her diagnosis was “torture” and admitted that it was probably her last major role. “I’m pretty convinced that this was it, you know?” she shared in a November 2022 interview.

At the SAG Awards in February 2023, Christina, who was a nominee, admitted that she was probably attending her last award show as an actor. “Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5 a.m. and spending 12 to 14 hours on set,” she explained. “I don’t have that in me at the moment.”

However, Christina made it clear that she still planned to remain in the entertainment industry. “[I’ll probably be] doing a s–t ton of voiceovers to make some cash to make sure my daughter’s fed and we’re homed,” she said.

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