EastEnders – Callum Highway's PTSD explained

·3-min read

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders delved back into Callum Highway's mental health story tonight (June 8) in the wake of Fitzy's shocking stabbing.

Callum (Tony Clay) was seen struggling to cope in the closing moments of Tuesday's first episode, punching the wall in anger before breaking down.

While it will be clear to some viewers what is going on, here's a quick reminder if you need it.

What is wrong with Callum?

Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC
Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC

Back in 2018, Callum suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a particularly horrific ordeal when he was in the army.

During the early days of his relationship with Whitney, it became apparent that all was not as it seemed with Callum, whose increasingly distant behaviour was noted by her and the Carters.

Callum was also reluctant to resume his duties in the army, even maintaining that an injury was worse than it was in order to be granted extended sick leave.

He eventually explained to Whitney that he had been left badly injured after getting hit by shrapnel after a bomb went off, saving two children's lives in the process. Witnessing Fitzy's attack has reawakened Callum's PTSD, with his struggles set to continue in upcoming episodes.

What is PTSD?

Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC
Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition caused by a traumatic experience. Although each individual experience will be different, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and insomnia.

At the time, Callum was seen waking up following repeated nightmares as he continued to relive what happened.

What happens next?

Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC
Photo credit: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC

Unsurprisingly, Fitzy's stabbing is the start of a challenging time for Callum and fans will see his struggles continue to be explored in upcoming scenes.

With his PTSD back in full force, Callum will suffer in silence over the course of this week and next – but fails to tell his new husband Ben what's going on.

When Ash realises how much Callum is struggling, she gives him an update on Fitzy's condition.

This prompts Whitney to realise something is amiss with Callum and she soon recognises his PTSD. Although Callum promises to talk to Ben, it's Whitney he ends up falling back on for support and she joins him in visiting Fitzy in hospital.

Unfortunately, this is witnessed by Ben, who immediately jumps to the wrong conclusions and is left devastated.

EastEnders continues on Thursday, June 10 at 7.35pm 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.

Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

Want up-to-the-minute soaps news, spoilers and gossip on your social feeds? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Soaps Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @soapscoop Twitter account.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting