Chloe Atkins on My Imaginary Illness
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Chloe G. K. Atkins tells us about her decades-long battle with a mysterious illness that doctors called imaginary. Her memoir My Imaginary Illness: A Journey into Uncertainty and Prejudice in Medical Diagnosis gives an account of being struck at 21 with a disease that paralyzed her for months at a time, and led her to become quadriplegic. Doctors refused to believe there was anything physically wrong with her and pronounced her symptoms psychosomatic. Atkins critiques contemporary medicine and talks about her frustration with doctors and diagnoses, psychotherapy, and her physical and emotional journey back to wellness.