'There's no such thing as normal', says Marian of mental health battle
Best-selling author Marian Keyes has welcomed the huge progress made in the area of mental health issues in Ireland.
The Watermelon author opened up in 2010 about her own battle with depression and said she was taken aback by the huge reaction to her revelation.
"I didn't mean it to be such a big deal," she said.
"I used to do a monthly newsletter on my website and it was a very sudden descent into the most horrific state of mind.
"I knew that I couldn't write my newsletter because I was in such a state of extreme fear. And I just did a three-line thing on my website saying, 'I'm suffering from a bout of depression and I can't eat, I can't sleep and I'll be back with you as soon as I can'.
"It just blew up like this huge thing. I'm obviously very naive because I didn't think anybody would be bothered."
She said the idea that it would prove newsworthy seemed "insane".
"But the thing is, there's no such thing as normal. I used to think that a person was either normal or mental. That was how I was brought up in Ireland. 'You better be normal because if you're not normal, you're mental and nobody wants to be mental'."
The author, who has penned 12 books and sold more than 35 million in total, said that we're all "on the spectrum" when it comes to our mental health and it's vital to keep an open mind.
"It's depends on how we are; it depends on so much - chemicals, circumstances, where we are in life, hormones," she said.
"Nobody has any right to judge. Ask not for whom the bell tolls because one day, it could be one of us going down to the doctors asking for tablets and saying, 'I just can't see any point in anything'."
She was speaking at the launch of the National Library of Ireland's new Digital Pilots scheme. Aimed at expanding the ways it collects the "born-digital" story of Ireland, it will allow content like videos and digital documents to become part of the national collections. Ms Keyes is the first donor to work with their initiative.