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Ex-EastEnders star Rita Simons opens up about terrifying health condition

The actress played Roxy Mitchell in the long-running BBC One soap

Hanna Fillingham

Rita Simons, best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, has opened up about her health, and has revealed that she is battling OCD, ADHD, anxiety and insomnia, which has been making it difficult for her sleep at night. Chatting to The Daily Star, she said: "I suffer with a million 'isms', including ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). I also have really bad insomnia. The worst is when I can’t sleep at all and I’m up all night." The star added: "Some nights I’m awake just staring at the wall. I don’t even watch TV or listen to music. It is awful. It is like torture. Sometimes it feels like I don’t sleep for days. It’s horrible." While she revealed that meditating has really helped her, when she doesn’t do it her insomnia returns.

Rita Simons has spoken about her numerous health battles

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The mother-of-two – who starred in EastEnders between 2007 and 2017 – also spoke out about her daughter's hopes of following in her mum's footsteps in the world of showbiz. Rita shares 12-year-old twins Maiya and Jaimee with husband Theo Silveston, and revealed that Maiya – who is partially deaf – has recently joined a drama school. "She shows a lot of signs of being like me, which is one of the reasons why I have let her follow the drama route," Rita said. "Maiya is quite similar and since she has done performing arts she has settled down and has an outlet. She is thriving and I didn’t get that opportunity until much later."

Rita with her former EastEnders co-star Samantha Womack

Rita also revealed that Maiya had heartbreakingly asked her whether she would be able to go to auditions because she was deaf, something the actress said, "broke my heart." Speaking about her daughter's disability to HELLO!, Rita explained: "We've brought Maiya up as a hearing child, and she attends the same mainstream school as her twin sister."

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