Casualty star opens up about suffering from PTSD after "traumatic time"
Casualty star Michael Stevenson has opened up about his own mental health struggles and reflected on what it's been like to play Iain Dean as the paramedic has struggled with depression in silence over recent months.
In a new interview, the actor admitted that he "probably had mild PTSD" after he and his wife, former EastEnders star Lauren Crace (who played Ronnie's daughter Danielle Jones in the soap), welcomed their twin girls four years ago.
"That was a pretty traumatic time," Michael told The Mirror. "They thought they had malrotation, which can be really dangerous in the stomach.
"I remember phoning my dad, they hadn't heard anything from us for a few days and were worried, and hearing his voice, it all came out and I wept."
A post shared by Lauren Crace (@laurenrcrace) on Dec 29, 2018 at 9:59am PST
Michael's comments come as his Casualty character Iain Dean has been seen suffering in silence ever since his friend Sam Nicholls died last year, leading up to Iain attempting to take his own life earlier this year.
The soap has now confirmed that it will air a special paramedic episode this weekend (April 27), exploring the aftermath of Iain Dean's suicide attempt and following Iain as he finally starts to look to the future.
Speaking of filming the storyline over the last year, Michael admitted that it was hard not to be affected by what was going on in his character's story.
"I've not been the picture of health in the last 12 months," he explained. "You're very lucky if you can do that kind of thing and it not affect you [...] what you're playing on screen affects you in your home life.
"There were times when I felt quite isolated. I drive two hours to work, then I work 10 hours playing a depressed person, then I drive for two hours to get home, on my own in the car."
The actor also described the upcoming episodes as important, adding that it shows viewers that there's hope by detailing Iain's recovery as he slowly starts to accept help, both personally and professionally.
"Nobody is immune," Michael added. "Everyone is affected by something, whatever walk of life you're in. They can suffer but help is there."
Casualty continues on Saturday, April 27 on BBC One.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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