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A Film Directed From Bed Tells The Story Of A Woman With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sunday 26 November 2017


From US newspaper The Washington Post:


Jennifer Brea
In “Unrest,” Jennifer Brea turns the camera
on herself to document the treatment of
people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
(Photo: Jason Frank)

A film directed from bed tells the story of woman with chronic fatigue syndrome

By Erin Blakemore
November 25, 2017
© 2017 The Washington Post

Jennifer Brea wasn’t supposed to break down. But in 2011, her body did just that. The 28-year-old was on the verge of a Harvard PhD and a wedding, but a series of viral infections transformed her from an energetic young woman to a bedridden patient with a mystery illness.

Desperate to escape the pain, exhaustion and loss of muscle control that bound her to her bed, Brea visited a long list of medical specialists — many of whom questioned whether she was sick at all.

In reality, Brea has myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME. Also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, the condition can mystify health-care providers and disable patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 2.5 million Americans suffer from the illness, 90 percent of them undiagnosed.

“Unrest,” Brea’s intensely personal documentary about her journey through ME, asks why physicians still know so little about the disease. The film delves into Brea’s ordeal, her marriage and the lives of others whose health was stolen by a condition that can strip a person of dignity, mobility and hope for the future.


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