Sophie Dillman from Home and Away is quite candid about her endometriosis, but this wasn’t always the case.
She even admits to being “petrified” that she would lose her work on the soap opera as a result of her endometriosis symptoms before seeing how understanding the cast and staff were.
Endometriosis is a condition that can result in “excruciating pain” and “debilitating conditions,” as it causes tissue that resembles the lining of your uterus to grow in other places.
Endometriosis tissue, according to John Hopkins Medicine, typically develops in the pelvic region but can also show up in the intestines and bladder.
The actress from Home and Away received her endometriosis diagnosis ten years ago, but it’s possible that she has been suffering from it much longer. She finally received her life-altering diagnosis in her mid-20s after years of excruciatingly painful periods that frequently resulted in fainting and vomiting bouts.
I was in a panic.
A swollen stomach is one of the chronic sickness symptoms the celebrity battles with, which can make her appear bloated or larger than usual.
She acknowledges that she worried that Home and Away could fire her due to Hollywood beauty standards and the increased scrutiny that come with becoming an actress.
“When it first started occurring I was freaking out because you put pressure on yourself,” she says, “not that Home and Away has ever put any pressure on someone to look a certain way, body image-wise, and they feel extremely passionately about it.”
“I battled to match that beauty standard at the best of times, let alone when I’m swollen,” the author said. “I was frightened that I was going to lose my work because I couldn’t stick to a beauty ideal.”
Sophie quickly realised that everyone was genuinely supportive because the soap’s creators are proponents of putting health first. The staff came up with methods to reassure Sophie rather than addressing it as something taboo or unfavourable.
“They’re amazing. I’m permitted to put on a towel whenever I’m uneasy. Or they’ll alter how the scene is set up so I’m not required to wear a bikini.
When you’re in pain and self-conscious, that just makes it slightly simpler to go to a set and perform your duties.
Everyone is aware that hot water bottle belongs to me.
When she needs a little extra comfort, the celebrity gushes about how much the actors and crew take care of her. Since endometriosis is not a condition that is commonly recognised, it was initially “awkward” to bring it up, but her coworkers now expect it.
Everyone knows the hot water bottle is mine, and if I’m in pain between takes, they’ll give it to me. If I’ve been standing up too long, everyone will bring me a chair, she says.
Sophie and the wardrobe team have even collaborated together to attempt to locate ensembles that will accommodate swelling while still making Sophie feel chic and self-assured.
Sophie has had three or four procedures to treat her endometriosis so far, and she will always have the condition.
Former actors have referred to Home and Away as a “machine” because of how quickly it shoots scenes.
The actress claims that the soap opera’s producers will rearrange their busy schedules to make time for her to have procedures, tests, or to give her time off when she is in excruciating agony. Although it would appear that this would be the norm, accommodations are not always made at work for those who have chronic diseases.
The actress aims to eliminate any shame or taboo associated with endometriosis and chronic illnesses, which is one of the reasons she is so enthusiastic about raising awareness about them.
Sophie is honest when she says, “I truly hope and have heard that there are other companies getting on board with that sort of aid. However, I sincerely hope so, as it has been incredibly useful.
“Chronic disease isn’t attractive”
While Sophie notes that physical symptoms can also have a “mental toll,” chronic diseases like endometriosis have a significant bodily impact on patients.
People who are suffering frequently hear that their problems are all in their heads or that they should “suck it up.” The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that it often takes patients seven years after the commencement of their symptoms to acquire a formal diagnosis. Anxiety levels may increase during this time of ambiguity.
“For a long time, I had daily pain and questioned whether I was weak for experiencing it. “Am I a sook?,” she asks herself.
When you see a doctor, they may tell you that “No, it’s just a period, and this is what you have to live with. That’s frustrating, heartbreaking, and frightening,” she laments.
Patients are partially relieved when they hear the accurate diagnosis because they can then begin therapies, but it is also unfortunate.
“Nothing about managing a chronic illness is seductive since there is no end in sight. So, that may be incredibly difficult to handle, and it can cause loads of anxiety and restless nights,” Sophie acknowledges.
Being in the spotlight and taking part in publicity photo and video sessions are both essential parts of the star’s work. She gains from it for both Summer Bay and her own brand.
She is candid about why these ostensibly standard employment requirements can be excruciating for endometriosis sufferers.
“I become anxious whenever I have a photo shoot. When that happens, I typically have pain and swelling,” she explains.
The thought of taking part in a photo session while bloated and in pain might be really frightful.