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Melanie Griffith reveals epilepsy diagnosis, credits divorce as 'a real healer'

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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Melanie Griffith has opened up about addiction, ageism, cosmetic surgery, marriages and divorces over the years, but there's another important topic that she's kept to herself — until now.

During a panel discussion for Women's Brain Health Initiative Wednesday, the actress revealed that she was diagnosed with epilepsy several years ago.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Griffith explained that doctors had long dismissed her history of seizures as "an anomaly."

"They didn't know what it was," she said. "The last two 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."

It wasn't until she returned to the U.S. that she finally learned what was behind it all.

"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. "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."

Griffith has remained seizure-free since then thanks to medication — and thanks to a form of stress-management she couldn't get at any pharmacy.

 Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Gala: Noche de Ninos on October 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

In 2014, the big and small-screen star spilt from Antonia Banderas after 18 years of marriage.

"I got divorced, which is the real healer for me," she said.

Event moderator Sharon Stone, who's been married and divorced twice, added, "It can be!"

Even though it took so long to for her own diagnosis, it's others, who live less privileged lives, Griffith worries about now.

"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," she 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?"

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