VETERAN broadcaster Anne Doyle has told of the importance of talking about depression and her own experience with the 'black dog'.
The former RTE news anchor has spoken out about mental illness and admitted that there have been times over the years when she has fallen into "that dark place".
She says she believes most people suffer from it at some stage, so people should be much more open in talking about the issue.
"Like most people, I'm not unfamiliar with the black dog sniffing around the place," she admitted.
"In latter years, I'm happy to say I've been in great form, but over the years I think people find that their spirits just go low. It's a chemical thing ... the important thing is not to keep it too much to yourself and try to come to terms with it."
She added: "I've been extremely lucky, a black mood will pass. But it's important to make sure that you reach out of it because the whole point about depression is that it can make you feel very locked in and frozen."
Doyle (60) was speaking on 'The John Murray Show' yesterday. She was on hand to launch 'A Murray Christmas', a collaborative CD in aid of Aware, live on air.
Doyle, who retired from the RTE newsroom last Christmas, has been involved with the Irish charity for over 20 years.
"The organisation filled a great need and continues to do that because when you're down and days are dark, most importantly, you need to be able to say it to somebody.
"But sometimes you don't want to burden other people and that is a huge gap that Aware has filled."
The Wexford-born newscaster told the Irish Independent that she likes to help the organisation in any way she can.
"I think that they do wonderful work. Anything which helps them and helps raise more money for people struggling is a really good cause.
"It was mentioned on the show that someone had had a number of very grave illnesses, but yet the thing that had most troubled her life was depression. Her husband rightly made the point that it showed him where depression stood in the pecking order.
"It can be an absolutely life- crippling condition for people."
Meanwhile, singer Rory Gallagher, who changed GAA anthems forever with his Donegal anthem 'Jimmy's Winning Matches', has admitted he had a breakdown after the break-up of his band The Revs.
"At the end of 2009 I suffered a nervous breakdown as it all came crashing down around me. I got panic attacks and ended up in bed for three weeks. My wife Cara would make me get up and go for walks along the coast to clear my head.
"It was the most frightening time of my life," he said.