Even when nothing is wrong, Blackpool actress Nikki Sanderson has shown there really could be something more disturbing going on.
Nikki, who plays Maxine Minniver in Hollyoaks, is helping to raise awareness of Munchausen Syndrome which is a mental disorder where a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if they have a physical or mental illness when they are not really sick.
Nikki, 35, told Inside Soap: “The audience hates Maxine. A lot of people don’t actually know what Munchausen’s is, so they just think she’s being a selfish, horrible person.
"They don’t realise she has underlying issues going on that are causing it.
"I think it’s fantastic that Hollyoaks is doing this story, because it’s not something that has been done before in soap.
"A few people have told me that they know someone who has behaved like Maxine, but up until now they didn’t realise it was an actual medical condition.”
People with Munchausen Syndrome deliberately produce or exaggerate symptoms in several ways
They may lie about or fake symptoms, hurt themselves to bring on symptoms, or alter tests (such as contaminating a urine sample)
Possible warning signs include: dramatic but inconsistent medical history; unclear, uncontrollable symptoms that become more severe or change once treatment has begun; predictable relapses following improvement; new symptoms following negative test results; presence of symptoms only when the patient is with others or being observed; problems with identity and self-esteem.
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, first look at 7pm on E4.