Isaac Baptiste’s (Stevie Basaula) behaviour has changed a considerable amount in EastEnders recently, and there’s a reason for it.
Isaac is currently researching extensively into Ruby’s (Louisa Lytton) late father Johnny and his murdered brother Paul Trueman. Recently, Isaac visited Ruby’s house and found pictures of Johnny and Paul together, despite him being told they never knew each other.
What is wrong with Isaac?
Isaac Baptiste has schizophrenia, a severe long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms.
Symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Auditory and visual hallucinations.
- Muddled thoughts
- Losing interest in everyday activities
- Not caring about your personal hygiene
- Wanting to avoid people, including friends
Schizophrenia does not cause someone to be violent and people with the condition do not have a split personality.
To find out more about schizophrenia, you can get information from the dedicated NHS pages.
Is EastEnders working with a charity during this storyline?
EastEnders are working with the mental health charity Mind to explore polarising opinions and attitudes towards schizophrenia.
Mind have provided research and guidance to help give an insight into the emotional and social experience of living with schizophrenia, particularly looking at attitudes towards mental health in African Caribbean communities.
Mind’s work advising on the show drew both on the lived experience of Mind Media Volunteer, Antonio, who gave one-to-one feedback about his experiences of schizophrenia to Stevie Basaula (Isaac), as well as learnings from its Young Black Men programme.
What happens next in Isaac’s storyline?
As his schizophrenia takes hold, Isaac’s obsession with Johnny and Paul’s history will continue.
With Jean (Gillian Wright) and Ruby in the club having a heart to heart, Isaac will enter and lock the three of them in Ruby’s office.
Determined to get to the truth, Isaac will confront Ruby about Johnny’s history. However, as Ruby has no idea what’s going on with Isaac, it falls on Jean to try and help him after she recognises he is clearly struggling.
Speaking about his storyline, Stevie Basaula said: ‘This is close to my heart, to be telling Isaac’s story is a privilege. I hope it will start a dialogue for people to have conversations about mental health and that anyone living with the condition will feel seen.
‘I hope that anyone engaging with Isaac’s story will gain a better understanding and can approach someone they know that may be struggling from a more positive place.’
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