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OHMYGOSSIP

Amanda Mealing suffered from PTSD during Casualty cancer plot

OHMYGOSSIP — Casualty’s Amanda Mealing suffered from post-traumatic stress while filming her character’s devastating cancer storyline because it brought back crippling memories of her own illness.
The 49-year-old actress has received high praise from fans over the past month for her depiction of her alter-ego Connie Beauchamp’s battle with a cardiac tumour, but she has admitted the plot has triggered emotions from her real-life experience with breast cancer.
Speaking to the TV Times magazine, she said: “It has been a challenge; more than I thought it would be. To play a person struggling with cancer is to tell myself all day, every day, that I am sick. In some scenes I heard those words said back to me for real. It invited back old anxieties and my PTSD reared its head again.”
Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and went on to have a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and, although she was willing to portray her character’s battle with the disease, she did have to seek help when her PTSD was at its worst.
She explained: “I’m happy to say I sought help at the time the PTSD was most debilitating, and was able to do so again this time. Anyone who’s survived or is fighting cancer or trauma will have been as affected as I was. When one is faced with one’s own mortality it’s not something you can ignore. Fifteen years on and I still use Breast Cancer Care’s services. It doesn’t stop once the medical side is over.”
Despite the challenge, Amanda doesn’t regret taking on the storyline because she’s pleased she can use her talent and real-life experience to raise awareness.
She explained: “It’s very close to my heart because ‘Casualty’ is a prime-time drama, it is our duty to highlight issues that may, and do, affect the whole nation.”

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