GH is now telling an irresponsible story about mental health.
Is there a more put-upon character on General Hospital than Sasha Gilmore, a young woman without a real family or past who just wants to live her life in peace?
Sasha Gilmore Can’t Catch A Break
When Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) first arrived on the Port Charles scene, she was there to play a dirty trick on Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) for money. Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) was paying her to pose as Nina’s long-lost daughter so she would be grateful to him for finally finding her child. However, Sasha began to think of Nina as a mother, felt guilt, and was crushed when the truth came out. It’s been downhill for her ever since.
Sasha tried to do what she thought was the right thing when she made BFF Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) and boyfriend Michael (Chad Duell) believe she was having an affair with Chase (Josh Swickard). She wanted Willow and Michael to marry to get custody of Wiley and was not thinking of herself. After she lost Michael, Sasha turned to drugs and nearly died, but she got herself cleaned up and had a happy one-night stand with Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor).
That night with Brando led to a pregnancy and eventually a real relationship, and we thought Sasha would finally find her happily ever after, but it wasn’t meant to be. After an idyllic pregnancy, a placental abruption caused her baby to be deprived of oxygen during labor, and he died when he was just a few days old. That unspeakable tragedy led Sasha to use drugs again, have a very public mental breakdown, and end up in a guardianship. To add insult to injury, The Hook serial killer soon murdered her husband, Brando. Sasha was left with Brando’s greedy mother, Gladys (Bonnie Burroughs), as the guardian in charge of all her financial decisions.
GH Jumps The Shark Again With Sasha’s Mental Health Issues
We just watched GH, not realizing it would be writing a character into a corner by having her drug a Black college student and video two other college students having sex for the first time before blasting it onto the Internet. We also spent nearly a year sitting through one of the most offensive cancer stories in soap opera history after a woman who refused to treat her cancer got a miracle cure at the last minute anyway. Now, it’s time to offend people who suffer from real mental health issues by having Sasha’s court-appointed psychiatrist sabotage her progress.
GH is a soap whose most popular leading man is a passionate and outspoken mental health advocate with his own mental health YouTube program called Maurice Benard: State Of Mind. It is also a soap that is supposed to be based around a hospital and should get medical issues right. Therefore, it should know that seeking help when you have a mental illness is crucial. Depicting a psychiatrist as someone who would purposely prescribe a combination of medications that could cause erratic behavior is beyond the pale and could discourage hesitant viewers from getting the treatment they need.
As Soap Hub’s editor recently pointed out on Twitter, the last time a soap did anything this egregious was in 1988, when Santa Barbara’s Eden was raped by her own gynecologist. Eden didn’t even know who attacked her because he was masked, and her rapist ended up being the one to examine her in the aftermath.
Sasha Gilmore Could Have Been Happy
Actress Sofia Mattsson is once again headed for maternity leave, and the show clearly needed a way to write Sasha out of the canvas for a while. Was yet another mental breakdown caused by a shady shrink for no apparent reason necessary? Is it not bad enough that Sasha’s mother-in-law has been gambling away all her money without her knowing it? Could we even be told WHY Gladys’s poker buddy/Sasha’s psychiatrist is doing what he is doing? He only said he would help Gladys keep Sasha under her guardianship for a price. He never said what price and why he was willing to do this.
All we are left with is a story that leaves a bad taste in our mouths when all it had to do to accommodate Mattsson’s leave was have Sasha take a long vacation after learning what Gladys was doing with her finances. Instead, we have another bad plot the show needs to quickly clean up.