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MS and Eastenders Soap

I joined this site as i feel i will hopefully be able to help other MS sufferers and learn from others too.

However, I felt it necessary to write something here today regarding the portrayal of MS on Eastenders.

I am a little angry that they have made it look as if all MS sufferers are left at home in a wheelchair with an oxygen mask to fend for themselves when critically ill!!..at first i did not realise this character had MS but when it transpired that she , not only had MS, but was left at home with Pneumonia, I was appalled at their representation, which is certainly not my experience, after having lived with it for over 22 years…anyone who has had a severe bout of Pneumonia with MS will know that you would be admitted to hospital if you were that severe and you needed constant oxygen.

My concern is that any newly diagnosed MS sufferer who watches this soap will be completely frightened by this portrayal and, quite rightly, fearful for their future, especially if they have not yet got their head around or researched the facts about MS.

This has certainly not been researched enough by the writers of MS, in my eyes, and has done nothing to alleviate the fears it has possibly instilled in newly diagnosed people.

Am I alone in my views here or do others , like me, agree it has not highlighted MS in the best way?

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Not improved since '97 then, when the market collector’s wife had MS, they moved to Leeds, I recall she fell flat on the floor in the Vic…then she was obviously dx with MS. I think Waterloo Road did it worse though, neighbours had a better portrayal for a while, not seen it for years! Coronation St handling Johnny’s reasonably well. I don’t watch Eastenders or Corrie any more but read that it was pretty bad.

Soaps… all fictional so anything goes!

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What?! You mean they’re not real!!!

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I was diagnosed in January and haven’t watched eastenders for about 6 months so I was quite interested to see that there was a character with MS. I was however quite disappointed that 3-4 episodes later she killed herself and it was so easy to do it!

I understand that issues like MS and depression are real but I think that is was incredibly irresponsible of the bbc to link the two and allow this character to commit suicide so easily and with the knowledge of others within the story. Yes it’s just a show and these things happen but i just feel the brainstorm for this particular story was quite short, and there was either no thought put into the moral of the story or they just wanted to get rid of the actress.

I wasn’t upset by this myself but my immediate thought was how this might affect others who have been newly diagnosed and are already suffering from mental health issues. I myself wouldn’t kick up a fuss, I do however believe that it was incredibly irresponsible of the bbc also the characters demise was screaming Anticlimax.

Soooo yeah, not very impressed, I’m not offended but I won’t be watching easterners again.

Soaps never let the truth get in the way of a good story like Kush & Kat having a fling - as if

Yes, I was not happy with the portrayal of this lady who had MS.From the first time we saw her she wasn’t well, seemed very negative and was left alone to cope. I have good days and bad days and thankfully I am not in a wheelchair but I wanted them to show a more honest take on those who are. I go to the MS therapy centre in Swansea and although there are many people who are worse than me there are a few who are better. All that I have met are perfectly resigned to their condition but show few signs of serious depression and are trying to take a positive outlook on things. I realise that at home and inside things may be different but Eastenders showed a very negative side of life with MS. I was looking forward to her having the sessions with the young man who was found who could hopefully help her

Of course Soaps are fictional, but surely have a duty of care (or similar). Omitting crucial facts, info, no MS Nurses, MRI results or a host of tests is totally irresponsible! Especially such a negative & tragic scene (yes it’s only SOAP). I agree it’s wrong and misleading for The Eastenders script writers to portray such an extreme case. Similarly, Corrie has a character, Johnnie, he had lots of dizzy spells and fell several times over a few weeks, Johnnies GP said "worse scenario, it could be MS. Quickest diagnose ever. Then another storyline & Johnnie married & bought a pub. I stopped Soap watching as they’re all the same, murder, illegal drugs, stealing, teenage pregnancies, blackmail, affairs. Ludicrous! Ally, you raise a pertinent and accurate situation, alas the tv is all about viewers & not accuracy. Had I seem Eastenders in 2009 I’d have been terrified. Chrissie

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Agree about Johnnie in Coronation st - he’s flying now with his MS - i’m not saying we should have doom and gloom but they need to get it right