Best-sell­ing au­thor tells of dark days

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD FOOD FOR THOUGHT - LISA SMYTH

IN THE Jan­uary is­sue of her news­let­ter to fans, Ir­ish writer Mar­ian Keyes – au­thor of best-sell­ing nov­els such as Lucy Sul­li­van is Get­ting Mar­ried,

Wa­ter­melon and Sushi for Be­gin­ners – said she was the grips of a de­pres­sion so bad she de­scribed it as “liv­ing in hell”.

Keyes, a self-con­fessed al­co­holic, has spo­ken about her bat­tle with de­pres­sion in the past.

An es­ti­mated one in four peo­ple in the UK suf­fers from men­tal health prob­lems, but many refuse to dis­cuss their ex­pe­ri­ences ow­ing to the stigma.

“I’m very sorry but this is go­ing to be a very short piece be­cause I am laid low with crip­pling de­pres­sion,” Keyes wrote in her news­let­ter.

“I know I’m leav­ing my­self open to stinky jour­nal­ists say­ing ‘What has she got to be de­pressed about, the self-in­dul­gent whiner, when there are peo­ple out there with real trou­bles?’ so I won’t go on about it.

“All I will say is that I’m aware that th­ese are ter­ri­ble times and that there are peo­ple out there who have been so ru­ined by the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate that… ev­ery day is a bat­tle for ba­sic sur­vival, and I wish I could make their pain go away.

“But al­though I’m blessed enough to have a roof over my head, I still feel like I’m liv­ing in hell. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t write, I can’t read, I can’t talk to peo­ple. The worst thing is that I feel it will never end. I know lots of peo­ple don’t be­lieve it, but de­pres­sion is an ill­ness, but… you don’t know when it’ll get bet­ter.

“So ami­gos, I’m sorry to aban­don you for the mo­ment. Full ser­vice will be re­stored at some stage, I hope.”

Speak­ing pre­vi­ously about her de­pres­sion, Keyes said she had used her ex­pe­ri­ences in her writ­ing: “ Rachel’s Hol­i­day is about some­one com­ing to terms with ad­dic­tion, and Any­body Out There is about be­reave­ment.” – The Belfast Tele­graph

Mar­ian Keyes

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