Jameela Jamil Was Accused Of Having Munchausen Syndrome
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Health and Wellness

Jameela Jamil Was Accused Of Munchausen Syndrome And That's Detrimental For Invisible Illnesses

She's not faking being sick. She is faking being healthy.

Jameela Jamil Was Accused Of Munchausen Syndrome And That's Detrimental For Invisible Illnesses

On March 18, 2019 Jameela Jamil posted a glamorous picture on her Instagram page. Donning a fabulous black and white pantsuit and sitting in a position that may seem incredibly uncomfortable to the average, able-bodied person with the caption "Maybe she's born with it? (Maybe it's EDS)." I froze the moment I came across this post and my heart skipped a beat.

Someone I admire and look up to is just like me — I couldn't believe it.

I had been a fan of Jamil since watching her as Tahani Al-Jamil on "The Good Place." I became an even bigger fan when I found the I Weigh Community and saw how passionate Jamil is about radical inclusivity. Finding out that Jamil has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome was what made her one of my biggest inspirations and role models. As a chronically ill theatre student who wants to pursue acting, it is so inspirational and comforting to see someone else do it. It made me realize it wasn't impossible.

This past week Jameela Jamil has been ridiculed and attacked for what she has said regarding her health. Some journalists have gone as far as accusing her of having Munchausen's Syndrome. I can only imagine what Jamil is going through right now and my heart goes out to her.

Unfortunately, being questioned about the legitimacy of this illness is not something EDS patients are unfamiliar with.

Jameela Jamil has been rather outspoken when it comes to her physical and mental health. She has shared her personal stories regarding mental illness, eating disorders, food allergies, body dysmorphia, cancer scares, autoimmune diseases, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, chronic pain and fatigue, car accidents, and even killer bee attacks. Recently, writer and producer Tracie Morrissey started a viral thread in which she says that Jamil has Munchausen Syndrome, which is a mental disorder in which one repeatedly and purposely acts as though they have a physical or mental illness.

One thing that many people seem to not understand is that there is no limit on how "sick" someone can be. A large argument in this controversy has been that Jamil has suffered too many serious injuries and illnesses for it to actually be real. Most people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome suffer from other comorbid conditions. EDS can also make people more prone to certain illnesses or injuries such as aneurysms and organ prolapse. Health and chronic illness fall on a spectrum. No two people with a chronic illness have the exact same experience. Another common misconception I've seen in this controversy is that Jamil has Munchausen's because she looks healthy.

Most chronic conditions are invisible illnesses.

This means that the illness isn't easily visible to others. The idea that one's health issues are not real if they don't act sick all the time. There are good days and bad days and often people are able to fake it and seem fairly normal and healthy. Just because Jamil is able to work hard and further her career does not mean that she's not constantly in pain.

She's not faking being sick. She is faking being healthy.

Every chronically ill person has experienced someone questioning the legitimacy of their illness. However, seeing it being done to a public figure on social media by someone who has absolutely no knowledge of the illness is incredibly disheartening to the disabled community. This situation helped to shine a light on what is wrong with how today's society treats the disabled and chronically ill community. Remember to always be empathetic. You never know what someone is going through behind closed doors.

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