Marian Keyes: 'Depression has turned my life into a living hell'

Lisa Smyth
Tuesday 05 January 2010 15:41
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One of the most successful female Irish novelists of all time has revealed that she is currently battling a “crippling” bout of depression.

In the January edition of her newsletter to fans, Marian Keyes — author of best-selling novels such as Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Watermelon and Sushi for Beginners — said she is the grips of a depression so bad she describes it as “living in hell”. She told fans that she cannot see when it will end.

Keyes, a self-confessed alcoholic who has spoken candidly about her battle with depression in the past, said this particular episode is more severe than normal and has affected her eating and sleeping patterns.

Her admission comes just days after DUP MP Iris Robinson revealed that she is stepping down from politics because she suffers from serious bouts of depression.

It is estimated that one in four people in the UK suffer from mental health problems but many sufferers refuse to discuss their experiences due to the stigma surrounding the illness. However, in her latest newsletter, Keyes addresses some of the more common views of depression.

“I’m very sorry but this is going to be a very short piece because I am laid low with crippling depression,” she explained.

“Regular readers know that I’ve been prone to depression on and off over the years but this is in a totally different league. This is much much worse.

“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 they’ve lost the roof over their heads and 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 unlike say, a broken leg, 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 has used her experiences in her writing: “Rachel’s Holiday is about someone coming to terms with addiction, and Anybody Out There is about bereavement.”

Source: The Belfast Telegraph

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