Netflix's Maid Addresses Addiction & PTSD

Content Warning: This article includes references to intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and other forms of abuse.

The latest binge-worthy series from Netflix, Maid, deals with some tough but important issues, notably addiction, abuse, PTSD, and generational trauma. The series is based on Stephanie Land’s memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, and adapted for TV by playwright Molly Smith Metzler.

The main character Alex (Margaret Qualley) is a young mom who leaves an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. She and her young daughter Maddy (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet) escape in the middle of the night but without money or a place to live, Alex has a hard road ahead of her. Her parents are unreliable and she is unable to find support from social services. She finds a job as a maid but the pay is so low she can hardly make ends meet.

A glowing review from Forbes explains how the series succeeds in its “raw depiction of the devastating impact domestic abuse has, showing the clear difference between couple arguments and emotional abuse.” Maid also reveals that many young women in Alex’s situation may find themselves similarly isolated and with few options.

Alex’s mother Paula (played by Qualley’s real-life mother Andie MacDowell) is unstable, narcissistic, and doesn’t take her daughter’s situation seriously. Alex’s estranged father Hank (the Twilight Saga's Billy Burke), who struggles with substance abuse, frequently sides with Alex’s abusive boyfriend Sean (Nick Robinson). Even the court sides with Sean, granting him primary custody of their daughter Maddy at one point in the series.

Why Does Maid Matter

Domestic abuse is not always merely physical; in many cases, such as the one depicted in Maid, victims of emotional abuse often feel powerless and trapped. Glamour magazine discusses this aspect in a recent article about the show, stating, “the devastating truth is that while a black eye can be photographed and documented, the scars left behind by emotional abuse are often more difficult for people to see and understand.” Alex has a breakthrough while cleaning a house when she is reminded of watching her parents argue and this helps her realize that abuse can be more than physical.

Invisible Disabilities

Although Maid doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative impact of substance abuse and PTSD, there are still many people who do not realize that these invisible disabilities can negatively impact many facets of life, including whether or not you can work

PTSD, for example, can affect anyone and can be the result of a wide range of traumas including (but not limited to) living through a natural disaster, physical or emotional abuse, a major accident, or even bearing witness to any of these.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission defines addiction as a “primary, chronic disease, characterized by impaired control over the use of a psychoactive substance and/or behaviour” and adds that “like other chronic diseases, it can be progressive, relapsing, and fatal.”

If you’ve applied for long term disability benefits for addiction or PTSD and your disability claim has been denied, please contact us. At Share Lawyers, we understand the mental and physical impact of PTSD and addiction, as well as the toll they can take on your life and your livelihood. We know invisible disabilities are very real and put individuals in precarious and dangerous situations every day. The long term disability lawyers at Share Lawyers have experience in helping people with PTSD get the benefits that they need. If you or someone you care about has been denied their benefits, contact the LTD lawyers at Share Lawyers. We are here to help.

If you have had your claim for long-term disability denied, contact the long-term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long-term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

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