Natalie Cassidy will reportedly take a time out as Sonia Fowler on EastEnders early next year.
The character has been struggling with the emotional strain of her work as an NHS nurse, and in episodes airing next week, Sonia will be seen breaking down and lashing out at those closest to her.
According to The Sun, the storyline has been designed in order to give Cassidy, 37, a "few months" of time off.
"Natalie, like other actors on EastEnders, was given a break for a few months," a source told the newspaper.
"In real time she is back filming in the next few weeks but on screen she will leave and be off for a few months because the show is filmed so far ahead. She'll be back again early Spring.
"Giving actors on the show breaks is nothing unusual and when it's a quieter period for their character, it makes more sense to rest the characters rather than them not doing much on set."
The exact reasons for Sonia's temporary departure from Walford have not yet been revealed.