Last reply 1 month ago
Eastenders

I just watched my fave soap and am a bit shocked as the little girls mum just said she has MS. She is bed ridden , and in a chair sometimes and has a breathing tube up her nose. It’s really shocked me as the storylines been running for some time but ms has only just been mentioned. I thought she had something else wrong with her and it didn’t seem like ms at all before… now I am in shock… as it’s been conveyed as a very advanced/progressive and aggressive form of ms. It’s very scary to watch…..and yes I know it’s just a soap.. but it has shocked me and made me feel kind of scared and horrified too. What are your thoughts please ? I do wish these soaps would look into things in more detail… hollyoaks storyline seems to have stopped being mentioned despite two characters having ms and corries male character with ms is never mentioned either. If it is, it’s very unrealistic with no detail.

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stumbler
2 months ago

@pinkyx , soaps and damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

There’s not much of a storyline if one was to follow the “normal” disease path. Potential treatment side-effects wouldn’t add much either.

We just have to take it all with a pinch of salt.


pinkyx
2 months ago

Yes , you are so right, thankyou @stumbler ….how did you get so wise lol


stumbler
2 months ago

@pinkyx , my wife would somewhat disagree with your view! lol


chloe_lea
2 months ago

@pinkyx I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago and watching Eastenders this week has made me terrified about the future! I wish they’d consider the impact it has on people with MS…


craig_paterson
2 months ago

@chloe_lea it’s a story line designed to pull in viewers interest. Don’t be afraid of the future as it’s what you make of it. I was diagnosed with MS 19 years ago so I think it’s fair to say I’ve gone through all your fears for the future in that time.


chloe_lea
2 months ago

@craig_paterson Thank you. It just annoys me how programme’s represent people with MS…Eastenders show the character eventually die, Casualty again don’t mention that there are any treatments to help with symptoms and management and Waterloo Road showed the Character kill them-self! And that’s just what I’ve seen. All negative. I get that they want to make it ‘interesting’ but surely there are other ways of doing that 😕 It’s no wonder that alot of people don’t realise that there are options for people with MS, and that its not always the way its shown on TV.


vixen
2 months ago

Hello @pinkyx. I think I put a post on here about this very thing last year. Might I add Neighbours to your list, where a character also has RRMS which gets revisited sometimes. But I agree, the thing is about living in the U.K., is that soaps tend to have a massive hold on the viewing population. As such, these things need to be portrayed with more accuracy and more research. I was really disappointed when Cold Feet returned last year. A relatively young widow on there reported that she was a widow because her husband ‘died of MS’. That really upset me, because the show has a cult following and that’s the message that goes out about our burdensome condition. Perhaps any script writers intending to use MS as part of TV should sign up to Shift for a couple of months….


cameron
2 months ago

It’s a convenient tag that can be drawn out indefinitely to indicate ‘seriousness’ to an individual’s or a family’s characterisation, which in turn can spawn new plotlines. The writers will have no idea of the reality of MS, but then neither does the rest of the population…….


hels
2 months ago

@pinkyx

I work in TV and have had a meeting with a medical advisor this week about a persons injuries in relation to timing and correct timeline of recovery and props for that recovery. Scripts are written by writers who have an idea but not the knowledge to correctly write that part of the story. It’s then left to the other departments to make good of the script and piece together the story and make it believable. You’re then left to pick up the pieces so to speak and stitch the story together as best you can. This is why we involved a medical advisor, our script just didn’t make sense. Unfortunately it’s fallen upon us to really straighten the story up and get someone in to help. This only happened because as a team we weren’t happy. So as sad as it may sounds shoddy story lines are down to lack of thought from that particular team. Casualty consistently use a medical advisor. I would most definitely write to the Producer of Eastenders and air your observations. The BBC are all about equality and diversity and suspect this is why they’ve written in MS but they need to know the way in which it was portrayed may have been distressing and unrealistic due to their lack of research. It’s irresponsible at the end of the day. Bring back points of view I say!!!


highlander
2 months ago

@hels
Well if you come across the person who scripted the episode of doctors on BBC one today give them a round of applause from me …they done a fantastic job with the limited time they had for that episode ref pip assessment.


lacemister
1 month ago

My mum and dad watch EastEnders they are in their 70’s. Mum called me quite upset after watching … I think this week it gets quite heavy .


craig_tibbles
1 month ago

I congratulate Eastenders for this storyline. I agree that it represents the extreme of MS and most of us will never be able to relate to the severity of this characters condition. However, it does inform people that MS is a real condition. Having to educate people, who have no understanding of MS and it’s impact, is frustrating. If they are aware of the worst, it is much easier to show them that MS does not always end up being so debilitating. Groups like this are crucial in enabling us to gain a clear understanding of MS and how it relates to us as individuals. MS symptoms are a potential, not an absolute.


rogersouthall
1 month ago

pinkyx, I havent bothered reading all the replies as I have just a little to say, I have had the same scared response on Twitter, simple, a story line is needed and some may be factual and some may be over dramatized, I do not watch soaps, no reason except choice, my Mother who watches Coronation Street phoned me, some factory owner had MS, my Mother was worried for me, the factory worker is still there and no mention of MS, he must have the magical sort that comes and goes but attracts members of the opposite sex !!!!
Stay well and keep looking in to this site, we have clever people on here that have a lot of answers but importantly, your never alone x
http://www.wholesorts.com my monthly blog, have a read


forestfairy
1 month ago

Hello
This is my first post on Shift MS and it feels a bit ridiculous to be posting about Eastenders but hey ho. I am so appalled at how the character is being portrayed and how last night she appeared to ask someone to be with her whilst she took her own life so she wouldn’t be a burden to her young daughter. I have been trying to read the storyline ahead and I think that the story will conclude in this way for this character. How absolutely utterly irresponsible. I am fuming. People with MS are isolated enough, lose confidence…I don’t need to tell you this, without this being portrayed as an option. I wonder if we could write as a group to the producer of Eastenders/Head of BBC Drama if anyone else feels strongly enough.


highlander
1 month ago

@forestfairy
Hi and welcome to the club!
You keep going with your views, I personally agree with you.
But even if you write a letter all you’ll get back is a standard we’re doing our best to be incisive and we will try to improve what we do. We have taken advice from someone who thinks they know what you’re dealing with but to be honest that doesn’t create viewing figures so we exaggerated a fair few things!
For a start she sees her nurse carer and doctor at the drop of her hat.
I haven’t seen or heard from any of mine for almost 5 months….I’m supposed to see at least one of them every three months.
Hi and welcome again.
Greetings 😃


forestfairy
1 month ago

Thank you @highlander. I think I’m what they call, a lurker!

I know it’s only a soap. It seems to me utterly irresponsible. What if someone is lonely, watching TV to escape their condition, and sees this and it plants an idea when someone is already at a low ebb? I think it’s highly suggestive.

I am looking to see if it breaches any codes of conduct. Mind you, if Channel 4 can produce a TV programme called ‘The Undateables’ and ‘Me before you’ was allowed to be shown in cinemas, then I suppose anything is possible with the depths that people will stoop to.

It looks like Jeremy Vyle has been taken off air. I wish we had responsible broadcasting rather than those who sensationalise and create drama and the expense of the vulnerable.

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