By Jamison Hill in Jamison Writes.
On August 10th Netflix released Afflicted, a seven-episode series in which I appear with six other chronically ill patients. Though I had high hopes for the series, and some parts were accurate, it has ultimately caused damage to the chronic illness community, portraying many of the participants as hypochondriacs and the illnesses they face as psychosomatic rather than their true physical nature.
I have debated about writing this blog post because in being honest about my experiences with Afflicted, I felt that might diminish my story and the stories of my fellow participants. I also didn’t want to diminish the work of some truly talented and genuine people who worked on the series and just happened to land a bad gig. But above all else I feel like this is an unjust outcome that needs to be brought to the public’s attention.
I’m not victimizing myself, or anyone else, but I am incredibly disappointed with the scope and slant of the overall series.
Nevertheless, I am still proud of my part in the series. There were some truly memorable moments to my story, glimpses into my life that I’m so grateful to have documented and to be able to revisit in the future. When filming commenced I had been bedridden for two years and was mostly unable to speak but for a few short, whispered words each day. The year and a half prior to that I had been too sick to chew food and had to survive on IV fluids and liquefied meals.
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