DIANE Hutchinson, played by Alex Fletcher, will be overwhelmed by OCD in an upcoming Hollyoaks storyline.
OCD also known as obsessive compulsive disorder, is a mental health condition where a person has intrusive thoughts and behaviour they can’t control.
Diane’s OCD will worsen when she discovers that she’s pregnant during a pandemic.
She already fears that the baby's father could be Tony’s previously estranged father, Edward Hutchinson, played by Joe McGann.
Edward and Diane's relationship began when he arrived in Hollyoaks after Diane believed Tony, played by Nick Pickard, had left her.
As a successful surgeon with plenty of charisma, Edward manipulated Diane into a relationship.
Viewers will soon see how the lasting impact of Edward’s control is affecting Diane’s mental health.
Signs of Diane’s increasing anxiety were obvious in the February 15th episode where she feared for the safety of Tony and her children.
Actress Alex Fletcher said: "It’s always an honour to get an issue storyline that I hope I can do justice to and I’m intrigued to learn more about the disorder.
"Like many people, I've heard of OCD but was shocked to hear how much it can inhibit people's lives.
"It's so important to get the facts out there, especially during the current pandemic when it's affecting even more people.
"Diane loves Tony and her children more than anything and I think she's felt partly responsible for letting Edward into their lives and putting them all in harms way.
"She now feels an overwhelming need to protect them all and this comes out as obsessive behaviour, which is so consuming for Diane."
Hollyoaks is working with charity organisation, OCD-UK, which measured a 40% rise in service stats from people contacting the charity for support in the early days of the pandemic.
Ashley Fulwood, CEO of OCD-UK, explained: “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder goes far beyond the cleaning rituals that most people perceive when they think of OCD.
"For some women, pregnancy can exacerbate OCD to the point of crisis, despair and desperation. This is what we'll see with Diane in Hollyoaks and why it's so important to highlight the signs and help others."
Hollyoaks airs every weekday at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look episodes on E4.
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