EastEnders: Is it wrong to portray somebody with mental illness talking to themselves?

This will probably go down like a lead balloon….and I will state right away that I am completely happy to be challenged on this – you might even change my mind…but here goes…

I know that there has been upset regarding the Lisa Fowler storyline in EastEnders. Her character returned to the Square and within days was seen talking to herself in what people believe is a stereotyped portrayal of mental illness. But there’s something that I, personally, think we are getting confused with regarding portrayals of mental health.

Whilst I don’t believe we should betray people as scary, frightening and irrational, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t portray mental illness in that way. It is, after all, pretty scary sometimes.

So I think with this EastEnders storyline, it all depends on what happens next. It all depends on the context. Do we get to see Lisa the person, or do we only get to see Lisa the ‘crazy person’? That’s when I might want to raise a complaint. But I’ll give it a little time yet.

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The minds of survivors and reflections from a cat’s eye

I am not sitting here chanting and twirling meditation balls in the palm of my hand, but my god (whatever or whoever that may be), there was something a bit spiritual about this week.

It pushed me to my limits, brought me closer to friends and family, made me look beyond myself and helped me find peace. It’s not peace in perpetuity (how could it be, Obama’s about to be replaced with a massive fart-arse with a clumsy orange finger on the trigger), but at least I’ve found the starting point for a more peaceful journey.

It started with the Mind Media Awards on Monday night. How ironic that I arrived in London an uptight wreck, completely incapable of enjoying the fact that I had been let loose in the big smoke with one of my best friends. I could not relax. At least, I didn’t until some time after the ceremony.

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