"Afflicted" on Netflix: woah, Nelly!

Has anybody else watched this?

I’m far from unquestioning worship of Western doctoring can play out (especially, very especially, in regards women’s health), but I am very fond of this thing called Science.

IMHO, the featured patients are primarily dealing with PTSD/somaticized mental illness* and are preyed upon by horrible woo charlatans who are eager to fleece 'em for every penny. I do think Bekah and Really Skinny Guy may have bipolar/schizophrenic issues, I hope the woo dealers injecting them with tincture of yak balls are someday sued into oblivion.

Two of the women are plain old sociopathic users.

I’ll wait to see if others post before continuing my rant.

*A spoiler if you’re not past episode three:

Jamison was involved in a car accident wherein the other driver was killed. It doesn’t seem to have been Jamison’s fault, but I think he’s suffering from extreme guilt and PTSD; he went to bed when this happened and never got up again. This guy breaks my heart.

Wanted to add: I’ve been through several major depressive episodes in my life and depression HURTS! “All in your head” doesn’t mean the physical pain isn’t very real.

The very worst way to treat depression is to lie down in a dark room and disconnect from the world; unfortunately, this is the only thing I’ve wanted to do when I’ve been hit hard.

According to that bastion of truth, The Daily Mail, the people they filmed all had to go through a psychiatric evaluation before going on the program.

Interesting, the series didn’t mention that. Which is really odd . . .

I know one of the participants. (Bekah) I was there on a shooting day. She asked me to look over the agreement she had to sign and I told it seemed to be standard stuff. I did say, if she trusted them, it would be OK. She signed. She really regrets it. I regret telling her to sign. The thing is Bekah is poor and being poor and chronically ill in America are a really bad combo.
The documentary is a complete hack job. They are really trying to make them look bad. Much of it is flat out lies.

You can probably find on youtube some of the people in it, explaining what happened and what was edited.
OH and BTW Bekah is slowly getting better. She is able to live in a house now.

I’m so glad you shared this. Bekah, especially, tugged at my heart. She seemed really lost.

I’ll look at these vids.

They did make her seem much more ‘sad’ than she is. She is an amazing person. Graphic artist and musician, but yes, she was that allergic to mold and living out there was her only option for a while. When we got there, we had to scrub in an outdoor shower and change into clothing she had.

That ozone treatment for her blood? Not her idea, the producers pressured her into doing it. “We’ll pay for it” And she went to that treatment with her brother. So the conversation about the treatment with her boyfriend is complete fiction. He was in another state at the time.

But yeah, she’s had a hard row to hoe.

She sells art to pay for her treatments. (real ones)

Mostly agree with the OP so far (I just finished episode 3). The only one so far who really, really grates is Star because she just comes across as a complete attention whore

You’ll soon encounter another woman that will ping on the tinfoil hat frequency (wifi/electricity “illness” = selfishly drain family of all resources). Star looks and acts waaaaay too health to have all the illnesses she claims – I had zero empathy for her hijinks.

I’m interested to hear your take on Jamison, the other young man whose name I can’t remember (extremely skinny musician, also housebound), and Bekah.

FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE that this show, like all reality shows, is edited to tell the story they want to tell and therefore probably not especially truthful.

I have a hard time with Bekah because of all the new age-y stuff. When she and her boyfriend did the wolf howl with each other… I dunno, I just can’t take it seriously. I have no doubt that she thinks she’s sick but in the context of the stories her mom told (cutting, etc) there’s gotta be something psychosomatic.

The skinny guy, I think his name is Jake, I absolutely think he’s severely depressed. Locking yourself in a dark room (to watch movies and eat bean chips all day? c’mon!) I have a hard time believing that his alleged symptoms stem from anything physical.

But as someone else pointed out earlier, mental illness absolutely can and does manifest in physical ways. So I can’t dispute that these folks feel what they say they’re feeling. To say “It’s all in your head!” is seen as reductive if not outright dismissive, but in fact it’s equally legit and just means that the treatment needs to start somewhere else.

I know for a fact that Bekah has been diagnosed, by medical doctors, with lyme disease and lead poisoning. Doctors told her she was sensitive to mold, because of her compromised immune system.

You try being sick and poor. It’s depressing.

This is not edited to tell a story. It’s fabrication and character assignation.

Star’s laundry list of malady’s really came across as a hypochondriac who needs to have her medical diagnostic manual taken away. Particularly because she looked to be in pretty good health. I know not all maladies are visible but if you had all she claimed to have I am hard pressed to think how it would not affect you outwardly.

Here’s the list taken from the show:

  • Celiacs disease
  • Hashimoto’s Raynaud’s disease
  • Phospholipids attacking her body and collagen complex (connective tissue attacking her body)
  • Dystonia (neurological disease)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Disruption with her vagus nerve
  • Reactivated Epstein-Barr virus
  • A few other types of viruses in the herpes family
  • Lyme infection (possibly)
  • MARCoNS disease (antibiotic resistant staph infection housed in her sinuses and nose)