Recently Netflix discontinued the review function on its entire site. This makes it difficult for viewers to share their opinions about Netflix original programming with others.
This website allows those who have watched part or all of the 2018 Netflix series “Afflicted” to share their opinions about it.
Archived reviews may be read below. The most recent 50 reviews are at this link:
You may submit a review of your own at this link:
The stories of the patients and their medical journeys to health were quite interesting. However, the constant bringing up of the question of whether these diseases were psychogenic or organic was very tiresome and misleading. This question has long ago be definitively in the peer-reviewed medical literature- these diseases are organic (physical) not psychogenic.
I filmed that area and group. I am appalled by the attribution of character they portrayed. Get it together, Filmmakers. Really, like you did not realize I would be there:)
It could have been so good. It captured the pain and anguish of the chronically ill. But the way they misrepresented the diseases and suggested a purely psychological cause was really disgusting.
Poor Representation of Chronic Pain Sufferers
Truly disappointed! This show perpetuates the same old stigma that the pain is all in the patients’ heads. For a detailed review and more accurate representation of what chronic pain sufferers go through, visit here: http://www.journeyoutofthepainfogandfatigue.com/2017/05/inside-mind-of-this-chronic-pain.html
No respect and compassion
We felt quite upset watching the series, because my partner and I are suffering from MECFS and mould sensitivity after severe mould poisoning. We are also aspiring filmmakers with solid background in media and entertainment industries. We believe that the filmmakers demonstrated no empathy and obviously misrepresented the situation and framed problems in such disrespectful way that it hurts. It feels like if the crew was disgusted and bored. In fact, documentary shows exactly how ignorant people perceive the problem and in this sense the crew did a great job in proving that those who suffer from unknown illnesses are viewed just as crazy people. Unfortunately, those filmmakers have no idea how much harm they caused and how their misrepresentation affects already vulnerable people. They must be ashamed and the film must be removed from the Netflix catalogue as a misleading and false piece of video.
A perverted, unethical spin offered through masterful editing, cross stitching effects, half stories, intended to be sold as reality television trash but striking too much of a nerve! The filmmakers had no idea that the vast community of folks afflicted with these illnesses will not take this slander without a fight back. I hope they can fix the mess they created for themselves and for those ill! Proud of all the folks in the film for their strength despite their most difficult circumstances!
Humanity’s Turning Point
How anyone can be surprised by Netfix appalling attack and smear campaign on the chronically ill disguised as a documentary. Utilizing patented tools of disinfo, pseudo professionals, ignoring real medical studies and testimonies, cutting out large sections of the interviews, cutting and pasting out of synchrony and context in order to intentionally guide the viewers opinion toward more mind controlling agendas that sick people are not sick….just CRAZY! Do u really believe that the CDC doesn’t know about the true facts on all these diseases? Cancer is a fungus that grows in an acidic, dark and moist environment. It’s favorite foods are sugar, carbs, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, breads and grains….the Processed American Diet. Bread has tons of sugar nowadays! Why? Add in the hormones in dairy and cattle, heavy metals in the soil from MonsAtan’s Roundup, aka Glyphosate, and synthetic fertilizers, add aluminum, barium ad nauseum in chemtrails, and we have Agenda 21, depopulation by design. When will people realize that TV programming has and never will present accurate unbiased truth of anything. It has always been a tool of manipulation for mind control. When I was about 8, I questioned why ‘they’ spent obviously large amounts of money on all these shows, but gave it to us free! Nothing else was. My mom’s response was that they made lots of money from the sponsors. My BS meter went off! I know I was a strange kid, but TV was new in the 50’s, and my suspicious noggin said, “So who the hell paid for the research and development, and the communication set-ups, all the engineers and technicians just to entertain (zombify) America for free? There were like 3 channels, and just a few shows, all live…how much advertising revenue could they make?The ads were for expensive stuff, lots of new cars, modern appliance marvels like washer/dryers, dishwashers, lust inducing new carpeting, flooring, furniture: Things not frequently part of my or friend’s family’s budgets. We once, only once were the envy of the neighbors, with a brand new ’55 Olds. My lighthearted father suddenly changed into a somewhat paranoid scratch inspector, reacting to each new tiny ding as a personal affront, obviously expressions of the uncontrolled jealousy of the burgeoning bourgeois. Sadly, what had begun with swelling pride the day I was proudly dropped off at school in my toxic fumed new 2 toned steel behemoth, transformed “friends” into jealous bullies. The taunts were a cruel lesson about modern capitalism and the divide of the haves and the have nots. We didn’t live in a new car neighborhood; it was a symphony of beaters and broken mufflers. My once familiar and friendly peers reflecting their parents’ beliefs no longer accepted this new car affluence, or me, just an innocent kid. I was 7, hurt and lonely, so the library and an endless supply of books became my companions, and a new awareness of the endless barrage of, “Just a word from our sponsor.” and TV’s real agenda, not to mention really dumb, pointless shows. To this day, watching sports or game shows leaves me scratching my head. So, with lots of free time, I started listening to other people’s conversations. Grown ups believe kids don’t listen or comprehend their stuff, so I just quietly acted disinterested and dumb. Before TV, lots of kids used that strategy. Now, with All this portable tech, well, even the MDs are dumber than a pile of rocks. Brainwashing 24:7. So, if the cinema was a rare treat, why was TV free? Now we could veg out in our PJ’s every night and I could whine how boring and creepy Ed Sullivan was. Why was a hunchback hosting all these carnival freak acts? I know I went off on a long tangent, but folks, if Netflix eliminated all viewers comments; isn’t that an obvious attack on our ‘so called’ free speech. They thought the dumbed-down masses would swallow the Koolaid, but they also know we don’t talk in real life anymore. Most don’t listen or even care if we do. They know this. What are we going to do about this is the real issue here? Oh, if it’s the truth u seek; medically opposite their so called facts and recommendations. Exception: The cinema! The big screen is honest unfortunately. Large scale big budget futuristic predictive programming. Think of the old films we grew up with, especially the doomsday scenarios…epidemics, pandemics, computers, planned obsolescence, cover ups,whistleblowers, government corruption, computer tech ruling humanity, inflation, synthetic food, environmental catastrophes, weather manipulation, collapse of the dollar, space invaders (Sorry, yep)! If you threw out the damn idiot box, you’d figure out what was really going on b4 we’re all dead!
I also in fight and visible battle
I would love to be on the show and show people allow hard it is to get your feet on the floor after getting out of bed when they say oh it’s going to be okay I go in the emergency for medical they treat me as mental we have so many rights I want to sign a petition to keep this movie going I tried to get two newspapers and TV in Michigan and nobody will help me I can’t even go get medical service without them keeping me in the psych unit this is been going on since 2003
Don’t waste your time!
Absolutely horrible they way statements were taking out of context from the people in this ‘documentary’.
Totally dishonest, not worth watching!
I wanted to give a minus rating for this but had to give a 1. Due to the cut and paste editing by the producer the people in the series are misrepresented as having mental health issues. This is a clear case of abuse, I feel so strongly about this I am canceling Netflix.
I really honestly, don’t like it, the people I loved, they are real, they are not actors, they suffer just like I do. But, the way “Afflicted” has been pitched, makes them seem like actors. As someone with a chronic illness, who is still searching for help also, its very unfortunate Afflicted had a very good opportunity to represent the chronic illness community, we are not symptom chasers, we are not making it up, this is not inside of our heads. And this is how afflicted is portrayed. And because it is a documentary, and we as the viewer are unaware of whats been cut, what was actually said and what footage was used, theres parts and bits of the documentary that really don’t add up. Afflicted painted a picture of a complex REAL chronic illness and turned it into some plot for their own entertainment. I do relate to some bits of the documentary, as with a chronic illness, people don’t believe you, doctors give up on you. But even so during the documentary, it made me feel as a viewer, is it really all make believe my current state with my health? If Afflicted decides to do another season/series which I strongly hope they do, they use the truth. Enough lies, propaganda, and hurt is spreaded enough amongest chronic illness community. Afflicted had so much potential to actually be liked by a huge community as instead it wanted to please the non-ill. Representing sick people as “delusional, attention seeking” and also representing illnesses as stress, and trauma induced. You cannot get anemia from stress, you cannot get lyme from trauma, you cannot get Epstein barr virus from depression. I’m very sadden to say, as watching the whole series, most of it was poorly pitched. There are people out there who do fake, but when theres medical evidence to show you have something potentially wrong, and you don’t have a diagnosis just yet. You aren’t crazy, you aren’t making it up. The only parts that were some what-okay, were support. Jesse, Bekahs boyfriend and caregiver, was oh so loving and supportive. That was the only thing that was not botched about this documentary.
Hurtful not helpful
I give Afflicted a big thumbs down rating with no star whatsoever! When I first found out this series was coming out I could hardly wait, i know 3 people effected in my own community with mold Ilines and I encouraged them to watch this, instead how the people in the series was portrayed was horrible, I only watched though episode 2, it was easy to see how this was going! For all of us who are sick and have sought treatment, this was like a kick in the gut! I just pray that those of you that made this series don’t ever have a child or loved one that lost their health due too Mold, Lyme, or multiple chemical sensitivies, because if you do, we will make you watch your own series and say, Ah, it’s all in your head, get over it! God Bless us All!
Good Representation, Bad Editing
3 Stars – August 19, 2018
While watching, I have been really excited to see people with my conditions (Lyme, mold) being represented on screen. Millions of people are seeing what mold can do to a person! It’s powerful! I am so proud of the patients featured for having the courage to tell their stories and be vulnerable in front of cameras and strangers. I think it’s good and important representation. Because the population represented in Afflicted is so misunderstood, to accurately and compassionately convey their struggles one must be very delicate and deliberate about tone. Afflicted is sensationalistic and invites the viewer to gawk at the peculiarity of those who are featured. Inviting doctors of psychiatry who say that these patients could possibly have a psychosomatic root to their conditions completely deflates the compassionate and respectful way these people need to be treated.
When you want to make really sick people look grazy you got 5 stars. But this is really putting back a lot of illnesses to psychological while there is evidence that for example ME is a devastating multi system desease! And so for more of the ilnesses shown on this terrible program. The people/patients who did there best to give true information how misserable there lives are with these deseases, I’m sure that they have been extra ill after cooperating in this docu and yet you put them on screen as if they like to be like this. With days in bed, not living the life they want and always sufferinf you put them on screen as grazy people whom love to be depended by there care givers instead of doing things they love, like working, having a family and so on! Thanks for nothing, thanks for let people who see this as the truth still disbelief the real sick people instead of letting them see that those people aren’t psychologically but mentally very ill! I’m really disgusted by the way you put this brave people in a psychological corner, let them look as grazy people instead of the really very havenly bad mental sick people they are! It is a really sick making documentary instead of a good documentary with diverse doctors who really know what they are talking about instead of lame psychology types and doctors who only believe that when your blood is good, you’re not ill! So please people who want to look this “thing”don’t believe what is shown, but believe that the patients are really mentally ill and not psychological!
Untreated mental illness is a terrible thing
Not terrible, not good either. The subjects were treated far to sympathetically. They very obviously have mental health issues.
Absolutely disgusting how producers coerced patients, and established a psychosocial model without their knowledge or consent. There were so many medical issues and diagnoses that were not mentioned, it was a gross misrepresentation of the seriousness of these conditions, ME and Lyme, MCS, Environmental toxicity – these conditions have a biological basis and the show Afflicted is an inaccurate, heavily produced version of these people’s lives. Afflicted and it’s producers failed to have a medical understanding of these conditions, if they had they would know that there are no psychosocial components to it. The thought that the producers may have known the medical basis of the conditions, yet still proceeded with a psychosocial model is the most appalling abuse. Absolutely disgusting the lack of medical professionals that were contacted for interviews. If I could rate it a 0 I would – this docuseries does far more harm, then education. We can do better.
Gross misrepresentation and manipulation
In producing its docu-series Afflicted, Netflix promised its seven subjects a film that would raise awareness about their severe, chronic diseases. What it delivered, instead, was a “is he sick or is he crazy?“ narrative, scrapping all ethics and honesty and betraying its subjects in the process. In a recent interview, the articulate and amenable subject, Jake Sidwell, calmly unpacked the manipulation and misrepresentation by Netflix, elucidating the solid medical facts of his case (all of which Netflix left on the cutting room floor) and the ways scenes were spliced to falsely portray him (as emotionally disconnected) or his family (as skeptical when in fact they were deeply supportive). Talking-head psychiatrists were inserted to further sow the seeds of doubt about his disease. No experts in the field of Lyme or neuroimmune disease appeared on screen to offer an opinion. Nor was the psychologist, who had already determined that Jake’s case was neither psychosomatic nor psychiatric, quoted or included. Of course not, for this would not have served Netflix’s purpose–to give its viewers a drama about potentially delusional personalities. None of the participants are delusional, nor hypochondriac, nor hyperbolic. If they seem so it is only because Netflix has manipulated the footage to give the viewer that impression. Where is the science? Where is the medicine? There are plenty of researchers and specialists the country over who could have offered invaluable insights into the suffering of the series’ subjects. Without their voices, and with the shameless slicing and dicing of footage, Netflix has done the greatest of disservice to its subjects. In the series’ aftermath, patients now bear the brunt of vocal and disdainful viewers. One subject in particular is being terrorized on social media. What should have been an opportunity for Netflix to do great good–raise awareness and empathy about these devastating, never-ending, poorly understood illnesses–has turned out to be a terrible blow to the community of ME, MCS, EHS, Lyme, and environmentally ill patients. The series reinforces the age-old stereotypes of unreliable, disturbed patients. It reinforces, too, the stigma of the diseases themselves, a stigma that any disease carries before science and medicine can unravel its mystery, a stigma that means patients are not taken seriously, research is afforded no funding, and patients must battle through life with little or no help. Multiple Sclerosis was once written off as hysteria. Then someone did a brain scan. Have we learned nothing from history?
I thought this was a chance to raise awareness of invisible illness and instead trotted out the old ideas of it all being in our heads. I had a great life thank you. I do not make my illness up. I thought ideas were changing as more biological causes are discovered. This series sets that back by decades. It must be very difficult for the people who took part to see what the end result was.
What a shame for the participants of this ‘docuseries’ that their sincerity was abused in order for the poor quality journalists to make this banal programme. It would take a hard person not to empathise with the dreadful plight and struggles of all the people followed during the programming. However, the programme’s producers were clearly not up to the job of representing them fairly by either or both of conducting proper research or at least allowing representation of a number of different voices. There are numerous established medical practitioners, including doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as researchers who have been working with such patients for many years now, none of whom were portrayed in this series. Instead, some apparently randomly selected psychiatrist who specialises in psychopharmacological treatment of depression (NOT people with environmental illnesses) is given the lead voice-over to suggest their illnesses are quite possibly or likely a manifestation of some underlying psychological problem! Wow, where is his science to draw such a broad sweeping conclusion about millions of patients – none of whom he has ever met??? This series sadly reflects a trend of journalists towards creating banal sensationalist content, moving away from the higher calling of their privileged position in society. As Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their book The Elements of Journalism cited on the home page of the American Press Institute website, 2018 state: ‘Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth’.
It sends society back 100 years
It’s no secret that doctors who were unable to diagnose patients with complex illnesses, gave the diagnosis that it was ‘all in their heads’. That is such a dangerous, lazy and incompetent diagnosis to make – you only have to watch the film or read the book ‘Brain on Fire’ to understand why. Portraying chronic illness sufferers in this way, further vilifies how able-bodied people treat us, especially skeptic relatives, employers or romantic partners. Being ill is no fun, either mentally or physically, however, the majority of the time when sufferers experience PHYSICAL symptoms, there are PHYSICAL causes that must be found. This show is disgusting and was clearly made with an agenda: to show how the chronically ill aren’t actually ill and have the power to cure themselves if they just believe they’re fit and healthy. What. A. Shame.
Puts my life at risk
This show has knowingly misrepresented illnesses that we know a fair amount about and caused an extreme amount of suffering. Because most people don’t understand these illnesses well, we are not given the proper treatments caregivers and support from family that we might otherwise have. This show furthers the idea that this might not be real. I depend on my helpers and my family for support to stay alive. Some of them don’t believe me and have cut off support, leaving my life very precarious. My main helper started watching the show, if I didn’t talk to him about it or if he got the message they were trying to send, I could have lost my person who was keeping me alive. Not to mention all the mistreatment at the hospital and by doctors that has threatened my life as well. All this is due to a general misunderstanding of these illnesses. The creators of the show purposely spliced and cut things together which created a false reality and quotes that did not go together. The used doctors with no knowledge of those illnesses instead of actually explaining them with the well-known experts. They brought in a psychiatrist to explain physical illnesses to give people the wrong idea which is so dangerous. They did this to create some drama and a storyline in the show that was provocative in order to make money with complete disregard for how people with very real illnesses will be affected.
Dangerous propaganda and irresponsible filmmaking by ignorant people. Chronic illness patients are often traumatized and abused by people who do not believe they are really sick. And yes, that includes doctors and the medical community. Patients develop PTSD and a fear of the very people who swore an oath to help them and do no harm. This dreck further stigmatizes chronically ill patients, especially the ME/CFS community. Thank you for contributing to more abuse, medical neglect, and my PTSD. I can only hope for karma.
I was initially excited that Netflix would showcase the topic of chronic illness, but after the second episode I realized that the producers were heading in the direction of categorizing the subjects like oddities with mental issues. No real science that is readily available, was presented to back up the chronic problems these people suffered from. This was more of a carnival side show than an honest portrait of the hidden problem of toxic poisoning that is escalating in our country. Much of the empathy that results from viewing it will will be directed at the participants mental problems instread of their physical ailments. When the general population finally does understand that many of the illnesses that plague our society are based on mold and chemically altered biomes, we will be able to let the healing begin. Until then, we must challenge the AMA, fight the insurance industry , work around big pharmaceutical and elect leaders who can stand up to them. I call on Netflix to follow up this program with a clinical study on toxic mold and it’s effects on humans and our environment.
This series is ignorant and irresponsible. It failed completely in being a documentary series, instead it exploited the 7 victims. It is awful.
This documentary was made to make these people suffering from these ailments look “crazy”. It was edited in a way that took what these people said out of context. The medical science behind these conditions was not shared. And some of the experts that were consulted did not have their views recorded. Psychiatric views, and uneducated physicians ran this narrative. The experts that they did show had their conversations edited out of context as well. The way this was portrayed put shame and stigma to these people and their diseases.
Dishonest and exploitative reality TV. NOT a docu-series.
The show is mislabeled as a docu-series, implying it has educational value and serves as a realistic portrait of the lives of the chronically ill and their families. Instead, it sensationalizes their suffering, pokes fun at their pain, all while completely misrepresenting their experiences. Interviews were taken out -of-context, and viewers were led to question and disbelieve the people featured. This was not the compassionate representation these participants were promised. And, now, in addition to their everyday pain, they are dealing with trolls and hateful viewers harassing them as a result. Please issue them an apology, retract the show, and hold your producers to a higher moral standard.
Please don’t watch this!
I was very hopeful that this series would shed much needed light on these horrible afflictions that many of us suffer with. The 7 victims were VERY brave and allowed the producers to film them and their families, but then the director and editor hacked away all the educational film and pieced the rest together to create a misleading freak-show. I watched all 7 episodes and wish that I had trusted my gut and given up on it after the 1st episode.
Suggest you make good
Suggest you spend time and now produce a documentary correcting some of the damage done. How about showing those doing some good in the world and let us see ‘inside’ the excellent groundbreaking work several very highly awarded researchers are doing. This we actually want to watch. Netflix you need to be accountable for your actions and these people did not deserve to be portrayed in this way. Dissapointed. Please make this right.
It turned out to be tremendously disappointing and harmful, because the public is given a vision, sometimes by the people they chose for the serie, that they are all problematic or selfish patients and with comments from fairly ‘skewed’ medicals professionals. Instead of being of help, they put 7 patients with serious ’emerging’ diseases that are real, to see themselves as sick because they imagine it, or at least they left it quite in doubt…
This is a post I wrote in response:
What people with ME/CFS, MCS, and EHS need most is validation. These are relatively new illnesses and mostly, if not entirely related to our modern way of life. We struggle so much to get recognition, support, and accommodation. So, a documentary that covers these topics needs to be respectful of that. If a docuseries brings up the question about whether or not they’re psychosomatic, it needs to tread carefully. The first few episodes mention hypochondria, emotional problems, and trauma. They portray the doubts others have. These are genuine reactions we receive in everyday life and important to address. But, what Afflicted didn’t do properly was present existing evidence to dispel these doubts. The series could have brought up the recognition we have from the CDC and the World Health Organization. It could have brought up the recognition we have from various human rights commissions and how much we’re dismissed by society despite this recognition. It could have interviewed environmental medicine specialists (Dr. Rapp, Dr. Molot, Claudia Miller, Dr. Anne Steinmann, Dr. Cheney…). It could have mentioned the doctors who do recognize these illnesses. And maybe, just maybe mention how much pushback they receive in the medical community and why. It could have shown real reactions and not just people talking about their “discomfort”. Anaphylaxis, muscle paralysis, convulsions, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea. Serious symptoms that are not psychosomatic. They are measurable, repeatable, and indisputable. It could have mentioned the studies that have been done that have found biomarkers. It could have mentioned just how many people (somewhere around 30 million people) have these same illnesses across the globe in industrialized countries at higher rates than Muchausen. Many of the audience members watching the documentary are left thinking these illnesses are rare. They are not rare at all and the number of people reporting symptoms have doubled in the last decade. It could have mentioned the thousands of new untested chemicals in our environment and the thousands of wireless devices. Or the tests that have shown them to be harmful (carcinogenic, estrogenic, etc). It could have mentioned how badly we need research and accommodation and how little funding goes into research, which is why mainstream medicine doesn’t help us. It could have brought up how historically others were disbelieved when the science didn’t back them up, but were later proven to be right by science Instead, it portrayed illness that already have a very hard time getting the proper attention they need. It didn’t present anywhere near enough evidence to give us a fighting chance that the audience just might believe that they’re real and physical. If a docuseries is going to be made at all, at least let it help and not create even more stigmatism, doubt, and ridicule.
Regardless of what you believe about the mind-body connection, this is NOT what was advertised when they were recruiting for participants. Straight manipulation and abuse here.
1 Star – I was excited when I saw the title and description of Afflicted. Now only two episodes in, I am crestfallen. In the first episode most of the families seemed at least somewhat supportive. By the second everyone seems in doubt, even the few doctors they show. What I had hoped would be validating and affirming has been exactly the opposite. As someone who has been in chronic pain for 20 years and counting, and has recieved nine diagnosis so far, you have failed the chronic illness community miserably.
The producers were out to make everyone look mentally unstable. They made alternative practitioners look crazy and only out to take these mentally unstable peoples money. Everyone looked like they were taking advantage of their generous family in every way. They showed a mental reason as a trigger for every single person. Why was the Doc that kept talking about symptoms stemming from the mind even in the movie. He just kept popping up sprinkling doubt all over the place. Everything was just terrible. I don’t want anyone associating me and the chronic bullshit symptoms I have dealt with for 35 years with this movie. This is not me. In every way I am emberassed to be associated. I wish the movie had never came out and pray no one I know watched it. Out of curiosity….were they unable to come up with an ending. It just raped our community and was over suddenly…
Misleading and Cruel
It’s so unfortunate and frustrating that the patients in this film are made to look like morons and nutjobs. Just because medical researchers haven’t figured out something so complex, doesn’t mean it’s “all in their head”. Shame on the filmmakers for producing something so grossly misleading and cruel
The persons who made this docu-series had an “agenda”. The result was not accidental. This was purposeful. It is obvious that the producer, editor, investors etc do not believe it possible for a chronic illness to exist that modern western medicine can not clearly diagnose. They did not do their due diligence. They did not research. They left out the science. Would they produce a film depicting cancer patients in this way? HIV/AIDS patients? Cardiac? Diabetics? Absolutely not. This docu-series is an insult to all the millions of chronically ill patients whose disease does not yet have a name, a diagnosis, recognition, acceptance. It is disgraceful. This series should be pulled from all media platforms. The persons who created this should be ashamed of themselves for they are heartless to have taken these 7 sick individuals and manipulated them, their families and their lives. My questions are: Who is truly behind the making of this series? What entity has a need to depict these illnesses in such a negative light? Who is benefiting from planting such doubt and disbelief?
I had, extremely, high hopes about this documentary. Within the first eopsode I was already appualed at the appearance of “mental illness” being the root cause of these issues. After suffering at the hands of allopathic medicine for years and becoming sicker and sicker and sicker, I resent the fact that this documentary calls into question alternative therapies and treatments. Anyone that questions the mental stability or sanity of the people that they love that are chronically ill and unable to get better needs to direct their questioning back to themselves. Not only is it dangerous to suggest that mental illsness is why people are chronically ill , it’s downright cruel. Walk a day in our shoes and you will never question the sanity of a chronically person again….as being of a strong mind is the only way we get though our day to the next and still continue to fight a system (allopathic medicine) that is instilled to help but harms us. It would be remiss to not mention the relentless financial burden that comes along with chronic illness. Many people are suffering and have no chance of ever recovering from the many forms of toxicity that was revealed in this series. When you realize that there is no one to help you and your children recover from mold toxicity, is the day you will realize that you are the strongest person you will ever know!!! Question my mental stability….I dare you!!!
Within the last month I was kicked out of the U.K. Toxic Mold Group, for the “crime” of informing the members that there were treatments available for chronic inflammatory response syndrome, so when I watched “Afflicted”, I felt nauseous to be reminded that the desire to remain uneducated about our illness is not only still present, but is being actively propagated by social media. What an opportunity was lost in not telling our REAL story to a new large audience.
Ignorant and Disrespectful
I am outraged at how irresponsible Netflix and the makers of this documentary are. There is ABSOLUTELY science to explain Lyme, mold illness etc and many, many well-respected doctors to back that up – but they chose to exploit these poor patients by insinuating that it was probably a mental illness, and only interviewing closed-minded doctors. These are NEW illnesses brought on by the toxic world we live in that doctors DON’T learn about in med school. Shame on Netflix and shame on the filmmakers for twisting the truth for ratings. Unconscionable.
Whoever made this has ZERO idea of what ME really is. It’s not in your head and there are SO many good doctors who treat this and can cure it. Anyone with the internet could have searched for them and gotten their expertise on the matter. Instead you went mainstream medical to create a drama. Insulting is putting it mildly. There is so much hope and so many people are healing and now thanks to your far reaching views the majority of the world will still have no idea of the truth. Typical mainstream “journalism”. Very disappointing .
It was rather insulting to listen to the “professionals” speak too and about an illness they really don’t understand. I commend Jamieson Hill for his part in this as he suffers from ME. But, The producers missed the mark.
No MCS Doctors included
Dr. Friedman was classic case of it’s in your head. There were no experts included like Dr. Gibson, Dr. Molot, Dr. McCampbell, Dr. Rea, Alison Johnson, etc. Other than the exposure and awareness it’s lacking luster in truly explaining how and why this is happening and the lack of healthcare awareness and advocacy.
NOT IN MY HEAD!
I have had MCS/Environmental Illness since the late 80’s, also deal with so many viruses another pathogens, am out of bed having chronic Lyme for years. I have done many many protocols and the combination has helped but have never gotten over my MCS. It is not in my head. I didn’t dream this up or wish for this, it serves no purpose but to limit my life. I was so hopeful for the series and the ill folks in the show were very brave. This will set us back for sure.
Victorian freak show
To play a game with these clearly very sick people is cruel , are they mental are they not , it’s like a Victorian freak show , producers should be ashamed of themselves and Netflix for allowing it
Further stigmatisation of chronically ill people
As a person who is sensitive to chemicals in fragrances, mould and may have Lyme. This show made me feel hopeless about life. It’s ironic that I used to lay in bed, sick from the mould in my rental house, for up to 8-9-10 days at a time and I would turn to Netflix as my only comfort. Thank ye’ Gods I’ve made some recovery and can now spend my time doing more productive things like actually remembering how to spell and write. I have energy and vitality once again, though I am not recovered all the way. Fragrances, which there are recent 2017 and 2018 peer reviewed research papers on the harmful ingredients in fragrances. Science is on our side and the truth doesn’t go away. It’s a pity Netflix could neither show the truth or admit that it was a mockumentory of MCS, instead you had to cut the show up to follow the agenda of MCS deniers, almost chemical companies. It figures, as many celebrities do sell fragrances, where the word fragrance can be up to 3999 (from IFRA’s website) ingredients. Besides this, I believe Netflix are putting many people with this ‘affliction’, a real disease that science does not YET have all the answers for at risk of suicide as who has the money for any of those treatments? I have been sick for 17 years and Netflix, you have appalled and insulted me. I will be terminating my service and swapping to Stan and Foxtel if you do not take that dangerous show down. There are some facts you missed; and here they are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJkDzhIHry4&feature=youtu.be Professor Anne Steinemann, Melbourne University, and her team’s findings on fragrance, and household products and the prevalence of people who get chronically ill such as myself: ‘Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in the US’ Steinemann A 2018. National Prevalence and Effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 60(3):e152-e156 https://journals.lww.com/joem/Fulltext/2018/03000/National_Prevalence_and_Effects_of_Multiple.17.aspx And: ‘Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products’: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335516301449 You can find more research here. I am surprised you didn’t do proper research as Netflix usually produces such a high quality of work that a viewer has to image just what is your agenda to make a show portraying people who are suffering physically, and some with a double affliction of physical and mental illness, as nutcase who, because of your show will be discriminated against even though we have disability rights and laws. You could have chosen to even your show out with the people who fight this illness, discrimination in the work and school place, the harmful effects of fragrance, the truth. Not in essence, no, but you could’ve fictionalised it so that people see the truth not this strange agenda of yours.
We are not freak show exhibits. We do not exist for your entertainment.
We are not freak show exhibits. We do not exist for your entertainment. And just because someone suffers from a medical condition that is not yet fully understood, does not mean they are crazy or a hypochondriac. Afflicted is a joke and makes a mockery of the medical conditions it highlights and the brave people who came forward to tell their stories, only to be exploited for the purpose of entertainment.
“Afflicted” is a very mis-leading series with inaccurate information about serious physical chronic illnesses
“Afflicted” is a very mis-leading series with inaccurate information about serious physical chronic illnesses. Below are just a few of the comments that Jennifer Brea, director of Unrest, an actual documentary about ME/CFS, tweeted in response to this terrible ableist series. As she has proven, it takes years of research to make a good documentary on this subject. You’ve abused seriously ill people to produce a highly damaging piece of “entertainment” which can in no way be called a “documentary”. The bias is obvious and the editing turns the whole thing into fiction. We are left to suffer and in some cases, die with no help whatsoever from the medical community, the government, society as a whole and this series is a massive contribution to the stigmatization we experience. “The great crime really is the totally context-free intercutting of “experts.” It’s sentence by sentence frankenbyting. I don’t know who anyone is, what their credentials are, why I should or should not trust them, or if what they are saying in the context of the sequence is actually what they meant to convey in the context of normal human speech.” “Getting a little tired of recurring creepy/ominious music and the constant selection/repetition of words like “high”, “weird”, “mind”, “crazy”, etc. I wish I could have a full transcript so we could word cloud it.” “”We have a saying in medicine that when you hear hoofbeats, the first thing that should come to mind is a horse, not a zebra.” This too cute by half phrase has killed so many zebras.” “And with this, I would bet everything I have that at least one person will divorce, one person will be estranged from their parents, and at least one person will die in despair who would not have had #Afflicted never been created.” “They filmed at a Stanford symposium that included top researchers from around the world, yet decided to use totally unrelated, nonexpert interviews to comment on Jamison’s case in order to convey a POV that fit their narrative. Any shots/interviews that do take place at Stanford aren’t even chyroned, I guess because that might also complicate the narrative?” “(We’re finding that a subset of us have structural issues in our brain/neck whether Chiari malformation, craniocervical instability, spinal stenosis or cerebral venous stenosis).” And an additional tweet by Jen Brea in response to Jill’s (character in the series) tweet which is below: “OK. This is hallmark reality TV. I would be loathe to do this in a documentary, especially to construct a meaning that wasn’t there in the original footage, unless it was *very* clear to the audience that these were separate scenes. #Afflicted” jill maxi edelstein lcsw @attunedtherapy Antwort an @jenbrea yes totally. they spliced two different car rides. one was when we were headed to pick out tiles!
I enjoy most medical documentaries. This one sheds a light on people who create physical symptoms based on psychological issues like anxiety and PTSD. The lengths they go to, to try to fix these issues is astonishing.
What a frustrating experience! When I found out that Netflix was going to air a docuseries about chronic illnesses that are relatively unrecognized by allopathic medicine, I was over the moon! I was ready to post a link to all of my friends and family to give them an opportunity to understand our family’s struggles on a deeper level. Well, thank goodness I watched it first! Yes, there were some realistic scenes, but the vast majority of the shows seemed to be leading the viewer toward the conclusion that these conditions are due to mental illness. This is simply incorrect. Where are the lab results? Where are the statements from medical doctors who’ve researched this or worked with these patients? Where are the many supportive friends and family with their declarations of belief (uncut)? Where is your sense of right and wrong? You’ve done a real disservice to a group of people who already have more suffering than you could ever imagine! Shame!
I just watched for the footage of patients
The director’s editing and cuts to screens with words were just frustrating and disrespectful to the people who went WAY out of their way to be filmed for the project. I just skimmed the series and watched the people I liked, mostly Bekah, Jamison, Jake, and Carmen. The footage of them was great and it was so wonderful seeing other people going through similar things as me, on a Netflix series! Next time use a different director who doesn’t have some weird chip on his shoulder about patients. The series actually made me more concerned about the director’s mental health than the patients’.
Shame on you Netflix
I was so excited to watch this series and so sickened and disappointed when I finished. Shame on the creators for portraying these people the way they did and shame on Netflix for airing it. We fight every damn day to survive, to get help, to make people believe us, to do more than exist, to get our health back, to get our lives back. I’ve been sick for 8 years, I’ve lost my home, possessions, jobs, money, friends, family….who in the hell purposely chooses to live like this?!? Western medicine says we’re perfectly healthy and functional Medicine doesn’t help unless you have an endless supply of money. Bringing awareness and educating people on how debilitating, devastating and real these diseases is critical to helping our community. It took courage for them to share their stories. How dare you manipulate their pain and suffering to portray that it’s in their heads….
Reality Freak Show
In real life, these are wonderful humans that are living with chronic illnesses who have hit a dead end with mainstream and alternative care. In this reality show, they are people that refuse to get well.
Exploitation of chronic illness for entertainment
The Netflix series , “Afflicted,” exploits individuals with chronic illness for a “reality tv” effect. In their apparent attempt at titillating viewers, the producers and editors clearly left out important pieces of each individual’s narrative. This series angered many members of the chronic illness communities due to its clearly dismissive approach, and its frequent use of terminology like, “psychosomatic.” Many of the series’ reviews focused on the supposed “fakery” of the patients who appeared in this series, as opposed to identifying whether the series had any merit in of itself. The series clearly played into stereotypes about chronic illness, as opposed to the more objective and thorough representation it might have done. This series can do nothing more than increase the stigma patients with chronic illness already feel. The producers have taken a clearly prejudicial approach in order to increase the entertainment value of their series.
The producer must have agenda to protray paitients and being mental. What a tragedy for those who beleive this story. Similar to AIDS.
Don’t waste your time
This series is so disappointing, hurtful, misleading. Every single person in this documentary feels cheated and lied to. They were expecting awareness and now they all feel even more misunderstood. The creators should be ashamed of themselves. I’d give it zero stars if I could.
This series is nonsense, unscientific and insulting.
As a holistic healthcare practitioner with a speciality in genetics, I was disappointed with how the chronically ill were portrayed and wish the director, editors and producers did a better job. You don’t know how bad it is until you go through something like it yourself.
I think afflicted mock these people
Personally I think who ever made this show wanted it to be a great show. They didn’t care if these people were ill mentally ill and didn’t care to spread the word just get viewers. I think the people who participated thought they actually cared about them and finding out what was going on with them.
Offensive and Nonsensical
The overarching narrative of this film is offensive and nonsensical. It sends the message that the physical symptoms that the people in the film are experiencing originate in their minds (i.e. are manifestations of mental illness). Yet, it shows people who are getting better from treatments that are focused on supporting their physical — not mental — health (e.g. Star who is getting treated at the Sophia Health Institute). None of the people in the film are undergoing psychiatric treatment. Yet some of them are getting well. I wonder how the creators of this series would explain this? As someone who has suffered from mold illness, multiple chemical sensitivities, and Lyme disease, and is now doing well after undergoing treatments to support my physical health, I can attest that these conditions are not caused by mental illness. Afflicted reinforces harmful stereotypes about people who are living with physical chronic illness since the overarching narrative of the series is that the root cause of physical chronic illness is actually mental illness (i.e. that it is “all in their heads”). I am very disappointed with Netflix for producing such a harmful series, especially since I have been impressed by their depictions of other groups of marginalized and oppressed peoples in many other television series they have produced. Apparently, they are not interested in showing the same compassion to people who are disabled as they are to other minority groups (e.g. people of colour, queer people, etc). The only ethical thing for Netflix to do is to IMMEDIATELY REMOVE THIS SERIES so that more people cannot see it. Television is powerful and this ableist series will make the lives of people living with chronic illness and disability harder. My heart breaks for the people in the series who were misrepresented and now have to deal with questioning of their experience and backlash from the public.
It Was Supposed to Be About the People
I am giving five stars to the brave, trusting subjects of this series, and one star to the unfortunate result, which turned out to be another example of gaslighting us all. I think all the patients in the Netflix series, Afflicted, were magnificent in sharing what it is like to live with an environmental illness. They were brave and honest and trusting that their stories would finally be told. They were betrayed. I also think the families and friends supporting them were stellar, even when they had their doubts. It is hard not to doubt, when all the mainstream doctors say we are fine, because they don’t do any testing for what we actually have, and everyone invalidates us at every turn. I wish they could just believe us. It made me so sad when Jamison’s parents questioned if his illness was all in his head, when he had been in bed for two years and couldn’t even talk. It horrified me when Jake’s father wanted to throw him into an ice-cold pool. How anyone could think we would choose this is just unfathomable. However, I think they care and are trying to do the best they can. It’s a terrible burden to bear. They need more clarity from knowledgeable doctors. They need to know this is real. It is SO real. I found Bekah and Jesse howling like wolves when he was about to leave for Harvard the most touching moment for me. It made me cry. It may have been one of the crazier-looking scenes in the series, but it was the most poignant for me. And far from being crazy, it was actually quite personal and sad. I love how Jesse supports Bekah unflinchingly, and how her brother came from the east coast to the west to help her when Jesse had to leave, even though it was a HUGE adjustment for him. I love her people. I wish we all had people like hers, or even just one of them. I believe every single one of these people, that they have a real, physical illness that they need help for. And I know they went to every conventional doctor they could without receiving any real help, because that’s what we all do. All that is left is alternative treatments or just to die. Which would you choose? At first, I had a problem with Pilar. Not because I didn’t believe she was sick, but because it appeared she treated her husband badly. However, when I subsequently learned how manipulative the editing had been, and how misrepresented the patients ended up feeling, I think there is no way for us to know what really happened, at least not from watching this series. Apparently, she is being bullied for this, which is despicable. The people who know her and love her support her, and from everything I have seen, she seems to be taking the high road. These people have tried to show what it is like to live with an invisible, debilitating disease that there is plenty of science for, but that people willingly choose to disbelieve. So much was left out of this series. It is a shame. You keep going, you beautiful warriors. You are a light for us all.
Portrayed the chronically ill unfairly
This movie only served to further marginalize chronically ill people. Not good.
Letter I wrote to the producers of Afflicted on Netflix: To whom it may concern, I am writing to talk to you about your new show Afflicted. I am so terribly disgusted and disappointed by the misrepresentation and depiction of the people on the show whom you blindsided and lied to. These conditions are not at all rare there are hundreds of thousands if not Millions living with MCS, mold illness, Chronic Lyme, and the other conditions mentioned on your show. There is outrage in these communities about how you have depicted these illnesses as being caused mental health problems rather than a valid physiologically based health condition. Your producers clearly did not do their proper research or they would have learned that the majority of these conditions can be scientifically proven with lab results such as Lyme and mold illness. For those that can’t such as MCS and EHS there are more than enough people dealing with these health issues to prove that this is not something that is psychiatric. I am speaking as one who has lived this for the past 9 years. I am absolutely sickened and outraged by your depiction of these people who obviously had no idea that this was the way you were going to twist their stories and exploit them. Instead of using the show as a opportunity to spread awareness about these conditions you instead further hurt our cause as most of us have already struggled greatly with being “believed” or taken seriously because of how little known about these conditions are despite so many people living with them. I will not be watching the show and I am encouraging others to do the same.
Chronically Ill Taken Advantage Of Again
To Netflix: I am deeply disappointed with the series Afflicted as it portrays the very real struggles of the chronically ill as nut jobs and psychosomatic. WE ARE SICK. These illness are REAL and the problem is that doctors have no idea how to diagnose and treat. When we are lucky enough to find someone who knows how to treat us, we have to pay out of pocket because insurance will not cover what we need to survive. The LAST thing we need is for you to spread the idea that our debilitating illnesses are “all in our heads”. I do not know why you went to the trouble of having Lyme experts like Horowitz, Klinghardt and Phillips just to counter them with ID doc and Psych saying that these diseases, like Lyme, do not really exist. I know they will be disappointed with your editing and making them to look like Charlatans, just taking money from crazy people to line their own pockets. When I first watched I thought you did a really good job at capturing the reality of what we go through on a daily basis, the physical and financial hardship and the cost to human relationships, but now in retrospect I am disgusted that you did not bother to talk about any science of what causes these illnesses and how particular treatments help. Are you just trying to make our lives more miserable???? Thanks, but we don’t need that kind of help. You blew a huge opportunity to give a platform to millions of people who are disabled and suffering by going for the cheap shot of summing it all up as we are crazy. Shame on you.
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