Love Island’s Eve Gale has revealed the hit show has been detrimental to this year’s stars’ mental health as she noticed her own plummet soon after she was dumped from the show.
In an exclusive chat with Mirror Online, the former islander painted a dark picture of the sunny South African villa, hinting at secret anxiety and panic among the islanders.
Her shocking comments come as bosses pledged contestants would have access to the best psychological care onsite.
The blonde bombshell told Mirror Online: “The show has of course affected everyone’s mental health for the worse. There’s no other way of saying it.
“And anyone who tells you otherwise would be lying. It’s been really hard. Really hard.”
Eve’s own personal experience saw her anxiety get significantly worse after her stint on the show.
“You know, you go from no one caring what you do or how you act to literally the whole country judging your every move,” she said.
And while the extent of drama in the villa is the deciding factor on whether an episode is entertaining or boring, Eve says viewers at home have become numb to what comments they throw at islanders.
“You sit at home and have so many thoughts and opinions, and while everyone is entitled to their own, many people have just completely dehumanised us just because we’re on the telly.
“My anxiety has gotten so much worse after reading some of the messages. Every time I wake up from a nap and go to check my phone, I think ‘Oh gosh let’s see what story is up about me now’ or ‘What messages have people sent me now?'”
And while the islanders have access to some of the best care possible when it comes to mental health, Eve says there’s no way of escaping internal issues when it comes to wellbeing.
To combat potential mental health pitfalls, ITV bosses have a robust aftercare plan in place for contestants after they leave the villa.
Islanders will receive training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home, as well as a minimum of eight therapy sessions once they return.
And after their stint on the show, bosses are set to keep in contact with islanders for 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided when needed.
Contestants have access to a psychological consultant throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
“We have access to therapy sessions and stuff. But you know, you can only be told so many times to not to worry about what people say about you. Eventually, there’s no way of escaping the bad comments.”
And while appearing on the TV show opens doors to a new world of perks and opportunities, it also opens doors for tidal waves of online abuse and criticism.
Eve’s twin sister Jess, who is still on the show, has been bombarded with death threats from sick online trolls over her snog with Mike Boateng in a recent episode.
Eve – who was the first contestant to be dumped from this year’s series – shared the terrifying messages sent to her sibling’s account while she’s on the show.
Horrified Eve revealed Jess had been called a “sly, ugly, fat c**t” and told to “go die in a fire” for mugging off Luke Mabbott by kissing Mike.
The wave of abuse towards Jess made Eve completely heartbroken for her.
She said: “I mean, just take a look at Jess. So many new messages coming in every day to her Instagram DM’s.”
She added: “It’s just disgusting. Just this morning I checked my messages and someone told me that we knew what we signed up for.
“We didn’t sign up for this. We signed up to be on a dating show – not to be targeted by mean people.”
Eve hit out at the vile trolls who sent her sister the abusive messages.
In a post on Instagram, Eve vowed to expose the vile trolls, writing: “Although someone can appear to have themselves together you don’t know what they are going through behind closed doors.
“Abuse like this can destroy a person. THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE.”
She continued: “And these are the same people who would post about mental health and write RIP posts if anyone in the limelight was to commit suicide.
“Honestly it’s disgusting. My sister has been sent 100s of death threats and abuse and it actually makes me sick. why are people so damn weird and nasty.
“Never in my life have I understood what brings anyone to actually take the time to send death threats and abuse before you write messages like this take a look at yourself and ask why you are really doing it and the intentions behind it.”
She added: “Because although people might appear strong and confident you don’t know what damage it can do.”
And Eve’s concerns surround islanders as a whole, as just yesterday, fans expressed deep worries for islander Shaughna Phillips.
Fans are vocally worried for the outspoken Londoner, as tensions flew high at the recouping episode.
As the boys flocked to Casa Amor to meet six new single girls, Shaughna’s man Callum Jones revealed his head is turned after getting close to Molly Smith.
Viewers were actively rallying for ITV bosses to get involved, as they feared for the London beauty’s mental health after Callum returned with Molly.
A Love Island spokeswoman said: “We have outlined our extensive duty of care process, which includes welfare support for the Islanders during and after their time on the show, plus we provide social media training for the Islanders.”
But despite having the best care available to the islanders, fans remained worried for Shaughna.
Eve chimed in: “It must be so horrible for her [Shaughna] to have such strong feelings for someone who isn’t too expressive of his.”
“She is honestly one of the strongest girls ever.
“It’s sad that people love to watch vulnerability and that its the basis of drama.”
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