Jennifer Brea: What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose

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Jennifer Brea – Ted Talk  June 2016

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Jennifer Brea was a PhD student at Harvard when, one night, she found she couldn’t write her own name.

Why you should listen

Over the following months, while doctors insisted her condition was psychosomatic, Brea became bedridden. She started filming herself and the community that she discovered online, collecting the first footage of what would become a feature documentary about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome. The film, Unrest, which will premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, tells Jen’s story as well as the stories of four other patients living with ME.

Brea is also the founder of #MEAction, an online organizing platform for ME patients around the world, many of whom cannot leave their homes.