Christina Applegate describes ‘fatalistic’ depression after MS diagnosis: ‘I don’t enjoy living’

Christina Applegate has opened up about her struggle with depression after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, saying her mental health deteriorated to a point that it started to scare her.

Speaking with co-host Jamie-Lynn Sigler on her podcast MeSsy, recorded in January but released on Tuesday, the actor 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.”

“I don’t mean that but I’m trapped in this darkness right now that I haven’t felt in probably 20-something years,” she said. “I don’t enjoy living. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy things anymore.”

Sigler, who was herself diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS, when she was working on The Sopranos over 20 years ago, urged Applegate to “give yourself a chance”.

“It’s so hard to live in a disabled body,” she said.

“It is so hard. I will not take that away from you and I am right there with you. I can’t let you give up. I can’t. I need you to do it for me.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Christina Applegate (Good Morning America, ABC)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Christina Applegate (Good Morning America, ABC)

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

The Dead to Me star said therapy was hard for her because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to stop crying and that she continued to cope with her diagnosis through self-deprecation.

She also spoke about her appearance at the Emmy awards this year, where she joked with the audience when they gave her a standing ovation, saying: “You’re totally shaming me, with a disability, by standing up. It’s fine!”

“I have avoided therapy since I’ve been diagnosed because I’m so afraid to start crying and that I’m not going to be able to end crying,” she said.

“I’m so afraid for those floodgates to open and that I won’t be able to stop.”

On the Emmys appearance, which Applegate referred to as “the television thing”, she talked about the toll it took on her body.

“That was like the hardest day of my life. It started at 11 o’clock in the morning and I didn’t get home until 9.30,” Applegate said.

“I think I slept for two days straight. I couldn’t function.”

Christina Applegate speaks speaks onstage at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on 15 January 2024 (Getty)
Christina Applegate speaks speaks onstage at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on 15 January 2024 (Getty)

Applegate explained how multiple sclerosis manifests differently in people. She talked about the 30 lesions on her brain and how other people have them elsewhere.

“My biggest one is behind my right eye, so my right eye hurts a lot,” she said.

“What it does is it just affects the nervous system. So we all kind of have the issue with mobility. It’s different per person. How it shows up on Jamie is very different than how it shows up on me.

“This is a disease forever for us.

“Before they had the B-cell treatments, people just died from it. So we’re prolonging life with these treatments now. It doesn’t mean I’m going to be around in 10 years, I don’t know. So that’s the scary thing about MS. There is no end game.

“It’s a disease of progression, and you just get progressively worse.”

In August 2021, Applegate revealed she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months earlier and production on Netflix’s Dead to Me had to be halted for five months when she began treatment.

However, during an appearance on Good Morning America in March Applegate said she believed that though she got her official diagnosis in 2021 she likely had it “six or seven years” before.

“I noticed, especially the first season, we’d be shooting and my leg would buckle,” she said, referring to Dead to Me.

“I really just put it off as being tired, or I’m dehydrated, or it’s the weather. Then nothing would happen for months, and I didn’t pay attention.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call or text 988, or visit to access online chat from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to to find a helpline near you.