During a Women’s Brain Health Initiative panel on Wednesday in Beverly Hills, Melanie Griffith opened up about being diagnosed with epilepsy in 2011.
According to the Oscar nominee, she experienced the first of her seizures while aboard a yacht in Cannes, France.
“I had two seizures, one they took me off the boat. I had this major grand mal seizure, and they took me to the hospital in Cannes and then brought me back to the boat. 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,” Griffith, 60, explained during a discussion moderated by fellow actress Sharon Stone.
Spoken like a true Working Girl, the mother of three admits that the seizures were precipitated by mental and emotional stressors. “I was extremely stressed out,” she told the crowd. “Every seizure that I had was at a point when I was extremely stressed.”
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Despite the scary diagnosis, Griffith says she’s been seizure-free for the past three years. “I got divorced, which is the real healer for me,” she joked, referring to her 2014 separation from actor Antonio Banderas.
“I’m not stressed anymore,” Melanie explained, attributing much of her duress to being a woman and a mother.
“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—ed up my sleep cycle.”
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Griffith stressed that she was in a fortunate economic position when she got her diagnosis, but that’s hardly the case for everyone.
“If I was living in poverty with four kids and I couldn’t make ends meet and I had a f—ing seizure, what do you do? How does the average person, man or woman, get the help?”
VIDEO: Melanie Griffith Reveals Epilepsy Diagnosis, Says Divorce from Antonio Banderas Was “a Real Healer”
Stone answered her friend’s question, telling the audience, “That is why it is so devastatingly important that we really think about health care and think about what matters.”