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Fans give Marian a big boost in her battle with depression

Chick-lit author Marian Keyes has received a strong boost in her battle to beat depression, following an influx of messages of support from concerned fans.

The best-selling novelist publicly made a brave admission in her monthly newsletter about her ongoing struggle with the "crippling" mental illness this month, when she revealed she has been unable to eat, sleep, or even write.

Marian's husband, Tony Keyes, claims the author has been rallied by the sentiments of support sent via email, letters and cards from fans, fellow writers and high-profile celebrities, since she decided to share her story.

However Tony says Marian is still struggling with the crippling condition and has continued to do so in the weeks since she published the shocking fan letter.

"There is no dramatic change I'm afraid," he told the Herald. "All the good wishes she has received have been a big positive for her though. She's had such fantastic support from her fans, from the press by and large and of course from other writers, musicians and well-known names.

"It all helps and has been a great boost for her. It's funny, because she really only meant to write the letter to let her fans and friends know why she hadn't been writing anything in the last few months," he added.

Stunned

Tony went on to explain how his wife had been stunned by the reaction to her courageous admission and says she hadn't anticipated the news of her depression would hit headlines all over the world.

According to author's husband: "She was very surprised and a little scared by the huge attention it generated everywhere.

"I know she had wanted to get the message out there that depression is something that should be talked about, but she hadn't anticipated it becoming such a huge story for the media.

"She has actually heard a lot about depression from other people who have suffered from it as a result and they have been offering her advice and support.

"I know that it has helped her an awful lot," he added.

Marian, who has written 11 hit books to date and sold millions of copies worldwide, has suffered from bouts of depression on and off for years, but describes what she is battling at present, as "in a totally different league".

The Monkstown native was intent on clarifying that it was not her intention to burden other people with her troubles.

"I don't want to be a self-indulgent whiner, when there are people out there with real troubles," she wrote.

"Although I'm blessed enough to have a roof over my head, I feel like I'm living in hell."

For further information on depression visit www.aware.ie