Coronation Street’s Alison King has said she felt a “real responsibility” portraying her character Carla Connor’s breakdown, particularly after meeting a woman who had struggled with mental illness.
Factory boss Carla was left at breaking point after the Underworld collapse, which cost Rana her life, and her mental health has deteriorated in the months since the tragedy.
An upcoming standalone episode of the ITV soap will follow Carla (Alison King) as she suffers a severe psychotic episode.
To prepare for the storyline, the charity Mind arranged for King to meet a woman who has had similar struggles.
She said: “When I talked to her I asked so many questions, she suffers from what Carla is suffering and she told me that during those moments of extreme psychosis you are never not yourself but you are just the most terrified version of yourself.
“You are locked in there, when you are spiking in these psychotic episodes there is no way out.
“You are trapped in there and wherever you are or whoever you are with it is terrifying but you need to be free to go through it and this is what I am trying to portray.”
The actress said the woman was able to help with “how Carla would be speaking, her physicality, her need for isolation and desire to hide away”.
King said she felt a real sense of responsibility with the emotional plot.
“It shows with it happening to Carla that is can happen to anybody,” she said.
“Of course she is just as likely to get it as any anyone because she has been through so much, the brain is so fragile and it has to snap at some point and for Carla it needs to break to mend, to change her lifestyle in some ways, to understand yourself better.
“I felt a real responsibility and especially after meeting that amazing lady who had been through so much, she is brave enough to go out there and talk about it.”
Coronation Street continues on ITV.