Rob Mallard made his acting debut on Coronation Street in 2016, and in the intervening years he has made an indelible impression on and off the screen.
His performance on the show earned him “Best Newcomer” at The British Soap Awards and the star has also been commended for opening up about his sexuality.
While Rob is making the most of his public profile, he also experienced first hand the personal challenges that fame can present.
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Rob grappled with a secret health battle for over a decade and despite his best attempts to conceal it, an appearance on ITV’s This Morning last year forced him to address it publicly.
While on the show, viewers noticed he was shaking, an observation that whipped up a storm of speculation on social media.
The comments turned increasingly spiteful, with some users accusing him of being drunk.
With his character being called into question, Rob felt compelled to set the record straight.
Returning to the daytime show a couple of months later, Rob revealed the cause of his shakes.
The Corrie star divulged that he suffers from essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking.
Opening about his condition, he said: “My solution has been to hide and manage. Because of the job that I’m in, it can have a detrimental effect on my ability to get cast.
“And then it was exposed on TV. I was embarrassed and then angry.”
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The public support that followed from his brave admission has since emboldened the actor, however.
As the actor explained, it has encouraged others living with the condition to come forward too.
What is essential tremor?
As Mayo Clinic explains: “Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking.”
It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces, says the health site.
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According to the National Tremor Foundation (NET), in individuals with essential tremor, the next most frequently affected area of the body is the head, followed by the voice, tongue, legs, or trunk.
“These tremors may occur in isolation or along with tremor of the hands or arms,” explains the NET.
In addition to physical challenges, it can also take its toll on your psychological and social wellbeing.
As in Rob’s case, the psychosocial effects of essential tremor may be embarrassing and debilitating.
How to manage the condition
According to Mayo Clinic, some people with essential tremor don’t require treatment if their symptoms are mild.
“But if your essential tremor is making it difficult to work or perform daily activities, discuss treatment options with your doctor,” advises the health body.
Medicine and physical therapy treatments may be offered to help control symptoms and stop it interfering in daily life.
“Physical therapists can teach you exercises to improve your muscle strength, control and coordination,” explains Mayo Clinic.
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