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Celine Dion Took a Dangerous Amount of Valium Before Stiff-Person Syndrome Diagnosis: 'I Didn't Want to Stop Performing'

celine dion fatal amount valium stiff person syndrome diagnosis
Source: MEGA

Jun. 12 2024, Published 9:14 a.m. ET

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Celine Dion pushed her body's limits before finally being diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome in 2022.

In her first television interview since learning she had the rare neurological disorder, the "My Heart Will Go On" singer candidly opened up about the health battle she dealt with while struggling to pinpoint the cause of her symptoms in the years leading up to her official diagnosis.

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celine dion fatal amount valium stiff person syndrome diagnosis
Source: NBC

Celine Dion dealt with stiff-person syndrome symptoms for years before being diagnosed with the disorder.

During her chat with NBC's Hoda Kotb, Dion admitted she at first hid her symptoms, as her late husband and manager René Angélil had been fighting cancer for the second time.

"I had to hide," she confessed. "I had to try to be a hero. I became a nurse. I became his supporter. I had to protect my kids. Practice my passion. Feeling my body leaving me. Holding on to my own dreams. But do I have dreams, what is going on, I can’t sing."

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celine dion fatal amount valium stiff person syndrome diagnosis
Source: NBC

The singer started to take dangerous doses of Valium in order to keep performing.

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In order to suppress her symptoms, Dion started taking extreme doses of diazepam, also known as Valium, just to get through the day.

"I didn’t want to stop performing," she recalled. "I would take, for example before a performance, [Valium, but] just walking to my dressing room to backstage it was gone already."

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celine dion fatal amount valium stiff person syndrome diagnosis
Source: MEGA

Celine Dion was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome in 2022.

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Angélil devastatingly lost his battle to cancer and died in 2016. Two days after her husband's passing, Dion's older brother Daniel also died from cancer.

Around this time, the "I'm Alive" hitmaker said her symptoms started getting even worse, except she had already began her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and continued to brush her health to the side.

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"[That amount] of Valium can kill you," the Love Again actress noted. "I did not know honestly that it could kill me... you can stop breathing."

Dion explained: "And at one point, the thing is that my body got used to it... and I needed that, it was relaxing my [whole] body for what, for two weeks, for a month, OK the show must go on. Here we go, I’m fine."

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celine dion fatal amount valium stiff person syndrome diagnosis
Source: MEGA

Celine Dion hid her symtoms for years while her late husband battled cancer.

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"But you get used to it, it doesn’t work anymore," she reiterated.

Dion further emphasized how deadly the doses of Valium she was taking could have been during a recent cover story with People highlighting her health woes.

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Source: OK!

"We started with two milligrams to see if it would help, and then 2.5, and then 3, and 15 and 50," she said of the muscle relaxing medication, admitting there was a point when she took up to 90 milligrams of the prescription just to make it through a performance.

"It could have been fatal. I did not question the level because I don't know medicine. I thought it was going to be okay. It worked for a few days, for a few weeks, and then it doesn't work anymore," Dion detailed. "I did not understand that I could have gone to bed and stopped breathing. And you learn — you learn through your mistakes."

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