Melanie Griffith has revealed she was diagnosed with epilepsy. The actress was on a panel for Women’s Brain Health Initiative on Wednesday, October 18, and opened up about dealing with the condition for over 20 years.
“They said it was an anomaly — they didn’t know what it was,” she said about her doctors, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The last two [seizures] that I had I was on a boat outside of Cannes — on a big yacht — and I was extremely stressed out. Every seizure that I had was at a point when I was extremely stressed.”
“I had this major grand mal seizure, and they took me to the hospital in Cannes and then brought me back to the boat,” she recalled about her 2011 trip to the film festival. “And then I had another seizure and I went back. They did the EEG and started to look at it seriously. When I came back (to the United States), I was diagnosed with epilepsy and nobody had said to me over a period of 20 years, no one paid enough attention to even diagnose me.”
The Working Girl actress revealed her condition is currently stable and she hasn’t had a seizure in four years, with the help of medication and lessening her stress levels. “I got divorced, which is the real healer for me,” the Buffalo Girls star admitted, referring to her 2014 split from her husband of 18 years, Antonio Banderas. “I’m not stressed anymore. It’s been three years. As women, we take on family, we get the husband, we have the life, we have the children, we take care of the house, we also go to work, we can’t sleep at night because we are up with the kids. I don’t think I’ve slept for 35 years. I still don’t sleep; it’s totally f–ked up my sleep cycle.”
“They did all the tests on my brain. They couldn’t find the epilepsy; they couldn’t find anything wrong,” she added. “It’s pretty much that it was stress. My brain is f–ked up.”
The panel was put together to discuss the organization’s mission of combating women’s brain health disorders and they talked about women’s ability to have access to health care. “I thank God that I’m in a position where I was able to find out where I could go to that’s the newest high tech place to find out the most information that I possibly can,” Griffith said. “If I was living in poverty with four kids and I couldn’t make ends meet and I had a f–king seizure, what do you do? How does the average person, man or woman, get the help?”
The actress has been married three times, twice to Don Johnson (briefly in 1976 and again from 1989 to 1996), Steven Bauer (from 1981 to 1989) and Banderas (from 1986 to 2015). She welcomed three children throughout her marriages, including Alexander Bauer, 32, Dakota Johnson, 27, and Stella Banderas, 20.
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