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I've rewritten and um'd and ahh'd about this about sixty times but here goes...

I'm aware due to recent events that this topic has sparked many a blog post and videos discussing the matter of depression and mental illness. I thought I would have my say too, I don't want my blog to solely be based on the latest clothing or beauty bits because let's face it there's a lot more important things than material goods. If I can help just one person from this small space on the internet then I'll be happy. (Just a warning, none of this will probably make sense)

I recently watched a video by Jack Howard where he touched upon the topic of people getting help with depression which has partly sparked this post. I have to admit it was actually pretty difficult to watch as I had just seen Jack and Dean that evening, and saw the happier side that we're used to. It takes a lot of guts to put a vulnerable side to yourself online for thousands to see and for that he definitely has my respect, even more so than beforehand. I've rambled a bit there... What I'm trying to get onto here is that in 2014, why is mental illness still classed as a taboo or a choice? People should be more encouraging and willing to drop the stigma and help those who need it. It's sad that it takes another person to pass away for people to pay attention.

Upon finding out about the death of Robin Williams, the amount of people just from Facebook alone criticising one of the greatest actors who played a huge part in pretty much everyone's childhood and lives, for being "selfish" shocked me. It just shows that there is still a huge misunderstanding to such a complex illness.

I've not only worked with those who have depression and other mental illnesses but I've also sadly had family and close friends who live with the issues. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see someone you love become someone completely different. I'm not afraid to admit now I've been there too. A situation hit me harder than I expected, this then spiralled into me feeling like I wasn't good enough for anyone, I hated how I looked, I didn't want to go to work and I would find any excuse not to go. I felt like the world was looking at me and laughing and all I wanted to do was hide away and be even more alone. I just never felt comfortable and always had this looming cloud that wouldn’t shift. This all happened within my last few years of education and was reflected in my exam results. However for me I luckily had my best friends and especially Lauren to talk to everyday about anything. Which I hate doing by the way, I hate making myself vulnerable (which I’ve realised after typing all that I’m completely making myself vulnerable haha) to people because quite frankly I am stubborn and worry what people think of me but I don't think I would of gotten back to the happier Trudy that most people know me as now. However there are much more severe examples than mine.

I think if more people know how to notice the signs or had any idea on how to help even the smallest bit, it could be beneficial to a greater understanding and so the person with these issues knows that there is someone they can talk to. So here are a few things I've discovered.

1. Don't assume things.

At first when a close friend started closing themselves off, I assumed that they were just in a grump. It was later when I found out certain things I realised just how bad things were. The worst thing you can do is tell someone to "smile, it won't kill anyone" or along those lines.

2. Be there.

Seems so simple, but it's vital. It's cliché but being able to talk to someone whatever the time etc the fact someone is willing to listen can probably offer a whole world of comfort.

3. Offer help.

Help look into ways of treatment, but just don't be too forceful with it. It needs to be the individual’s decision on what's best for them. Be that medication or other means such as books and talks.

I don't know if any of this will help, but there's no harm in trying. I also know I'm not a professional and nor am I looking for sympathy.

If you do stumble upon this and are having these issues please talk to somebody such as Samaritans or even me if you feel you can via tumblr etc.

My next post will be a playlist of songs that make me feel a little better on down days for those interested!

If you got this far than thank you for listening to my rambles.

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