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EastEnders storyline to tackle body image issues and the use of steroids

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EastEnders storyline to tackle body image issues and the use of steroids

EastEnders is due to air a storyline that will see Denzel Danes (Jaden Ledgega) become dependent on anabolic steroids.

The soap collaborated with the charity WithYou for the upcoming storyline scheduled to air this spring, focusing on Denzel’s battle with body image issues stemming from a newfound fixation on exercise.

Chris Clenshaw, EastEnders’ Executive Producer said:

“It was imperative for us to work alongside WithYou and individuals with lived experiences of steroid usage to accurately present and portray Denzel’s storyline. Jaden’s [Ladega] performance has thoughtfully portrayed the isolating realities of a steroid dependency as we explore how social media has an impact on his perception of body image and the affects that anabolic steroid misuse are having on the youth of today.”

The storyline will follow the experience of Denzel, and those around him, as he is introduced to steroids, highlighting the influence that social media has on his perception of body image as well as the impact on his mental health and relationships as a result.

As the storyline progresses, Denzel will attempt to hide his steroid usage from those close to him as he continues to suffer in silence by imposing heavier restrictions on his diet and exercise regime.

Abigail Wilson, Lead Clinical Pharmacist at WithYou, said: 

“It is really important that this type of storyline highlights the character’s journey and the risks they may face in a realistic way. It has been amazing to work alongside the EastEnders team, and I really hope that this storyline will help and encourage people affected by similar challenges to access support, from WithYou or another substance misuse support service.”

EastEnders airs Monday-Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One. Episodes are also available from 6am on BBC iPlayer.

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