Log in
6,341 members8,778 posts

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in soaps, opinions please.

I am interested in the two I am familiar with! Coronation Street & Doctor's. Both have included stories about TBI's incurred in car crashes, by main characters, Karen the receptionist at the GP's surgery & Nick Tilsley, son of Gail . I think they have handled them in quite different ways, and wondering if people watch them, what they have thought about the story lines? :)

14 Replies

I think the Coronation Street storyline is a bit more acceptable as being more believable, however I don't think either really show the true ways we have to deal with the return to " the way we were" or in a lot of cases the daily struggles we face, but as I've said before it wouldn't make good TV, most people don't really want to know the warts and all aspect.

I think we're all sick of the " you look really well" comments.

Janet x


100% agree Janet! Are just a snap shot, soaps can only ever be! However, Dr's, probably as it is 5 days a week, has spent more time on Karen's recovery. This has shown the humor TBI occasionally brings about, while Nick's story is very much more negative! I may be slightly biased as I am sucker for a happy end. ;) Also Nick's story had a character say '35% or relationships end in separation when one partner suffers a Brain Injury'; where as I thought, it was 75%!. Figures from Headway I believe, surprising, as I understand Headway did have some input to the drama.

I also prefer the Dr's story as Karen seems to have recovered from her more erratic and objectionable behavior, where as Nick's life is haunted by irrational behavior,and dominated by anger. This is probably made worse by me placing scorn on the coverage of the accuracy of his tantrums, while my family say, "actually reminds me of YOU!"! :(


In Coronation Street, I didn't like the way the writer's got Nick to play on his TBI to get his own way I thought that bit was wrong, and it makes other people with TBI's out to pla on their problems as well, when in fact we don't, we try and get on with our lives best we can with what we have got left.


Totall with you!


agree 100% used it purely for melodramatic unconvincing storylines around his character. I thought "great, now not only people not have sympathy cause of invisible nature of most head injuries but now we might be using it to manipulate people and situations. Badly done.

1 like

I think I've been mega- lucky, my out of character behaviour was limited to the months immediately after coming out of the coma so most of the time this is me, as I said, luckily.

What neither shows show are the situation where you recover but not well enough to hold down a job, and subsequent problems that accompany that.

But there's only so much that can be covered, I hope both soaps continue the storylines long term to show that the after effects are life changingxx



You are of course correct! The writers in a pretty impossible position; in some respects it is good that they have covered it all, but probably better if they hadn't! I think I prefer Doctors version,but that may be purely as the end is relatively happy currently!


I'm not sure that I should be admitting this but I watch neighbours haha

And a guy in it suffered almost same injury as me and his recovery has been amazingly quick !


What has the coverage been like? Other than the 'lazarus' like recovery of the character, of course! Sorry but neighbours not on my list of soaps! In fact, prior to my accident, all soaps were banned in our house. Was far too troublesome organising our social life around the soap's, so we had not watched them for a number of years prior to my accident. However when I was in hospital I was on a ward next to the TV, and got back into Corrie, (Mood was rather fragile at the time, so when I was struggling coping with visitors, I'd escape to a Street in Manchester, or anywhere else on the TV! This 're-discovery' continued when I escaped!

In 1985 I watched the first Episode of Neighbors on British TV. My self and my house mate were addicted! 'Mad' Max Ramsay was legendary, and we loved the Robinson's et al. I can remember Kylie coming in, and have been amazed at the career progress that some of the cast have made. Singing & Films!!! ;) x Neal


Hi Neal

Fairly accurate in terms of his basilar skull fracture in that a lot of the aftermath is quite accurate i can't remember specifics I'm afraid sorry lol that's why i watch neighbours haha

I am still unable to remember one episode to the next all I get is vague familiarity

I cannot watch anything else on tv as its either too loud too quick which makes me nauseous or too complicated

Still struggling with books in terms of memory and my eyesight but I still read as I believe it's important to recovery

Emma x


Hi Emma, keep fighting and smiling, you certainly make me smile! :) If my maths is right, you are 6+ months post accident. I was just out of hospital (finally escaped! ;) ), 6 yrs 1 month ago, and I have made so much progress mentally and physically. Tis true, time is a wonderful healer. HOPE IT DOES THE SAME FOR YOU!


Too many 'miracle' recoveries in soaps.

People apparently bounce back unscathed from serious head injuries - if only -------


Absolutely right! At least you get some sense of how difficult it was for the character, in 'Doctors' and how long it took the character to gain any stability of mood, personality, etc', and competency at work . Probably not an accurate depiction of real life at, but of course as every case is different, not easy to say what, if anything, is typical. I think it is safe to say, that neither soap has 'nailed' it, I suppose its an impossible task!


You are write about 'miracle' recoveries! The press/media love a happy/inspirational story! As you might guess, my pseudonym is borrowed from my local paper who have covered some of my post accident challenges! I am now embarrassed, and am finally starting to realise how irritating my post accident personality must be, particularly to people who have suffered a TBI. :(

This coverage gives no account of the angst, and pain my decision to climb on my roof, in the early hours of the morning! How I have battled with medication, mood swings, and lost a job I loved! It has taken me years to be positive again, and I am finally looking on the bright side of life, even if inconsistently. ;)


You may also like...