Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) is battling depression but nobody knows it yet they are picking up on his out of character behavior and becoming concerned but nobody makes the connection.
That is until an overwhelmed Darren is left in fear after Mandy changes her plans and leaves him home alone. Clearly struggling Darren calls Luke, desperate for company.
Later when Darren doesn’t attend his own comedy night and tells Mandy he is ill alarm bells ring for Kyle.
In an interview with actor Ashley Taylor Dawson who plays Darren he reveals all.
Can you explain Kyle and Darren’s conversation, who initiates it?
“Kyle recognises that Darren is behaving weirdly, and then I think the penny drops when he doesn’t turn up to his own comedy night. Kyle knows how obsessed Darren has been with it, but then Mandy says that he isn’t coming, because he’s feeling ill. I think Kyle recognises himself in Darren, and thinks he might be depressed. He feels that he can maybe help, and when he goes to see him, he realises that he was right.”
Kyle seems like an unlikely person for Darren to confide in, why does he do so?
“I think Kyle sort of saves Darren from himself at the right time. Kyle recognises depression and the symptoms, and how Darren is behaving. Darren, up until this point, has just been dealing with it on his own and has been trying to snap himself out of it. He’s not actually doing very well, so when Kyle hits a nerve when mentioning the word ‘depression’, and explains to him why he’s feeling like that, I think it helps Darren reflect on his reality. It makes him realise that he’s finally got someone to confide in, and maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so they become quite close because of that.”
How did you react when you found out you were getting such a hard-hitting issue storyline?
“It’s such a huge story to tell, and it’s sadly so common. The biggest message we are trying to get out there is for people to talk, and listen. However, sometimes, talking can be damaging, because you’re talking to the wrong person. If you talk to a professional, it’s confidential. I think everyone’s biggest fear is vulnerability, and letting people in to their own personal stuff. Hopefully, doing this storyline will maybe help people recognise symptoms within themselves or others - the fact is that it’s probably happening under your nose every day. So, to be part of something that could possibly help people, and bring this story to light, it’s an honour, and I’m proud to be doing it.”
Hollyoaks airs at 7pm on E4.