Entertainment

Melanie Griffith Breaks Her Silence On Epilepsy Diagnosis

Many of our favorite celebrities may appear perfect on the outside, but there's a surprising number of them that battle chronic illnesses.

Some of them suffer from lesser known conditions that have been getting more attention in recent years, thanks to the awareness that is raised when a celebrity discloses their illness.

Over the last several months, we've seen Lady Gaga open up about struggling with fibromyalgia, Frankie Muniz address his memory loss due to transient ischemic attacks, and Selena Gomez talk about the severity of Lupus.

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Now, another A-list star has decided to speak out about a serious health diagnosis that she kept hidden for years.

Today.com

Actress Melanie Griffith revealed that she has been diagnosed with epilepsy and opened up about dealing with the condition during an event that took place last week in Beverly Hills, California.

The Working Girl actress was part of a panel at the VIP Conversation for Women's Brain Health Initiative when she broke the news about her health according to The Hollywood Reporter.

She explained that she has been dealing with seizures for over 20 years, but it wasn't until six years ago that she was finally diagnosed with epilepsy.

"They said it was an anomaly — they didn’t know what it was,” she said about the doctors who treated her after she experienced a "major grand mal seizure" in Cannes.

It wasn't until she returned home to the U.S. that the former child star was officially diagnosed.

"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.”

Griffith claimed that her seizures are brought on by stress, but thanks to medication and a little stress management, she hasn't had an episode in four years.

TV Guide

She also admitted that divorcing her husband of 18 years, actor Antonio Banderas, improved her overall well-being.

"I got divorced, which is the real healer for me,” the actress confessed. "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.”

During the panel discussion, moderated by actress Sharon Stone, 60-year-old Griffith expressed gratitude for having access to the best health care. She's been working hard at raising awareness for women's brain disorders and the importance for access to health care.

"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?" Griffith said.

Paris Match

She recently visited Health Nucleus in San Diego, California for genome testing to determine whether or not she still had epilepsy and they didn't find anything.

"My brain is f–ked up," she added.

The panel wasn't the first time that the candid actress spoke out about her divorce. In July, she told People Magazine that she has been having an "introspective time" and "it's just sort of nice."

"My kids are all great. They're beautiful people. I'm single, and lonely, and bored, and confused, but then at the same time, totally curious. It's almost like I have to throw myself out of the nest," she added.

It's safe to say that she is no longer stressing about a lot of things, which is great for her health.