IN the aftermath of his rape, Ben Mitchell is finding it hard to cope with the weight of what's been done to him.
Next week in EastEnders, the character suffers from a panic attack.
Gaslit by his tormentor Lewis Butler, Ben Mitchell (portrayed by Max Bowden) is failing to recognise he has been raped and heavily blames himself for the breakdown of his marriage to Callum Highway.
But the Walford troublemaker is slowly showing signs that he's mentally struggling and Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) is picking up on them.
Coming up, Kheerat is concerned when Ben refuses to work at The Arches and with only Dotty to help, Jay offers to speak to a mechanic he knows.
In later scenes, Ben shows up for work and is put out to see Kheerat has hired another mechanic called Dave.
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Ben is uncomfortable with Dave’s over familiarity so heads off for some fresh air.
While roaming around the Square, Ben spots Callum and Lewis talking and, spooked by their exchange, returns to The Arches, insisting Ben leaves.
Alone and unbeknownst to everyone else, Ben breaks down.
Later on, Ben wakes up after spending the night in The Arches and panics when he hears Dave slamming on the door for his wages.
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Unaware that Ben is hiding inside, Jay sees the commotion and gives Dave what he is owed, much to Ben’s relief.
Kheerat arrives and is alarmed to see the state of Ben, suggesting he may need to take some time off.
Whether Ben will accept Kheerat's suggestion remains to be seen but his attacker Lewis will be setting his sights on Callum as he becomes the victim of a homophobic attack.
However, Ben will feel no sympathy for his rapist and will even tell Lewis he gave him an STI.
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Acting out of pain and trauma, Ben takes everything out on those that surround him, including Lola and Rocky.
Soon enough, however, his mother Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) goes forward with her concerns and confronts him about his behaviour.
The penny eventually drops after a tense exchange – Ben was raped by Lewis.
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What will Kathy do to help him?
EastEnders airs on BBC One from Monday to Thursday.
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