The 60-year-old actress was diagnosed with the neurological disorder after suffering two seizures on a yacht in France during the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and felt frustrated that it hadn’t been “taken seriously” in the US before then.
Speaking at the Women’s Brain Health Initiative panel on Wednesday (18.10.17) night in Beverly Hills, California, she said: “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 [to the hospital]. They did the EEG and started to look at it seriously.
“When I came back [to the U.S.], 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.”
But the ‘Working Girl’ actress hasn’t had a seizure for three years and believes they were triggered by stress.
She said: “I was extremely stressed out. Every seizure that I had was at a point when I was extremely stressed.”
And Melanie admitted she had fewer incidents after splitting from Antonio Banderas after 18 years of marriage in June 2014.
She quipped: “I got divorced, which is a real healer for me.”
The ‘Milk Money’ actress – who has three children, Alexander Bauer, 32, with second husband Steven Bauer, actress Dakota Johnson, 28, with former spouse Don Johnson, and 21-year-old Stella Banderas with Antonio – recently underwent genome testing to see if she still has the condition and tests came back negative.
She said: “They did all the tests on my brain.
“They couldn’t find the epilepsy; they couldn’t find anything wrong. It’s pretty much that it was stress.
“My brain is f***ed up. Really — you know?”
Melanie feels grateful she’s in a position to afford great healthcare.
She added: ” I thank God that I’m in a position where I was able to, like, find out where I could go to that’s the newest high tech place to find out the most information that I possibly can.
“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?”