This week Dinah, a character in EastEnders who has primary progressive MS, is going through a hard time. And we know a lot of people are finding it difficult to watch.
As well as having MS, Dinah is fighting pneumonia and has a long history of depression. And her mental health is severely impacting her outlook on life.
We’re disappointed with Dinah’s character arc
Since we heard about the story line, we’ve given EastEnders information, advice and insights from MS experts, including people with MS.
We're disappointed about her character arc. But ultimately the EastEnders producers and script writers decided that while other characters would reflect a different experience of MS, this was how Dinah's storyline would play out.
MS on set in Albert Square
We took members of our community onto the filming set to work with producers and actors to share their stories. Our supporter Sam met Anjela Lauren Smith who plays Dinah and talked to her about her experiences.
She said ‘I had an incredible day on set. I was astounded at the genuine care and attention to detail that the whole team put into making each episode.’
More characters with MS on EastEnders
EastEnders made it clear to us they’re telling Dinah’s story, not trying to reflect the experiences of everyone with MS. We've now met another character (Darren) who also has MS, and whose perspective of living with the condition is very different to Dinah's.
Darren's outlook highlights the unpredictable nature of MS and how different it can be for everyone, emphasising there is very much a life beyond it.
If you'd like to talk to someone about any of the issues Dinah's story brings up you can call our MS Helpline on 0808 800 8000 or email [email protected]