Ruby Wax and Mental Illness

Below is a video of Ruby Wax that I stumbled upon last week. It’s from As many of you know, I love using humor to help people learn and understand what it’s like to live with mental illness. Using humor also helps me keep me from taking myself too seriously.
Ruby Wax

I’ve never heard of Ruby Wax, but would love to hear more from her. She’s funny and she gets it. My only complaint about this video is it’s too short. I’d love to hear her do an entire show about the subject.

She is affiliated with the organization, “Black Dog Tribe,” Here’s information about the organization from their website”

Founded in 2011 as a social networking platform for people affected by depression and other mental health conditions, the Black Dog Tribe (BDT) website is intended to be a place in which like-minded people can find their own ‘tribe’ and share experiences in a supportive online community through forums, blogs, daily news and mental health information.

The organizations web address is


6 comments on Ruby Wax and Mental Illness

  1. Hi there. Firstly – great blog. Not sure how I stumbled across it – maybe Twitter? Secondly, so thrilled you like this TED talk by Ruby Wax – There is good news! She has done lots of these talks and is very good at them.

    You will love this one –

    and this one –

    She is also on tour with her new Show / Book Sane New World – perhaps she is coming to a theatre near you – don’t miss out:

    The book is out in paperback now too. Hope that helps!

    1. However you got here, I’m glad you did. Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

      1. No problem at all. I have met Ruby several times and she is amazing. Do follow her on Twitter / like her on Facebook. Her work is phenomenal and we are lucky to have her in the UK…! There are LOADS of videos on YouTube of her doing these talks. Do go and see her on Tour if you can too – I saw it on Friday and LOVED it.

  2. I have never heard of her either. She was very funny…..thanks for the morning laugh 🙂 She did make some very valid points about the nature of societal reaction to mental illness. I have often thought that if there was a way (which the researchers have done) to show people in a physical way that my brain and those of others similarly afflicted really is chemically different than a “normal” brain, then maybe people might have an “aha” moment and realize that there really is something different going on with mentally interesting people. PET scans have shown that the brains of depressed people, Bipolar people, etc., do “light up” different areas of the brain than “normal” people. They can use Google images and find all kinds of physical and visual proof that the brains of mentally interesting people are indeed different.

    I really wish people could get past the “mind factor”. We are no less intelligent for our illnesses, we are not sociopaths (they probably already know one or two and do not realize it), we are just everyday people trying to live through this life the best we can with our chemically different brains just like they are.

    She reminds me of a friend of mine who can take the worst thing ever and turn it into a funny story. However, the reality is people who have physical afflictions are accepted and people who are a bit “touched” are stigmatized. Never mind the fact that some of the world’s greatest artists, musicians, sculptors, and writer’s have all been a bit off. Yet, even knowing this, people revere their work and the fact that they had some mental difficulty doesn’t matter. But, if you are the average person living with mental issues, they just freak out on you. Never made sense to me. You can tell someone you have heart problems and you get sympathy. Tell them you have Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, and other major illnesses, and they look at you like you are Frankenstein’s monster. Which would be why I blog about it, and will tell anyone that I have Bipolar disorder among others. Society needs a kick in the head when it comes to major psychiatric illness. Some of us function, some cannot.

    Thanks for sharing that 🙂

    1. Our brain is the most complicated computer system/and organ that exists. I’ll never understand, then, why some people have such a difficult time understand that sometimes it doesn’t work right.

      1. This is very true. The human brain is an incredibly complex thing that cannot be summed up in so many words. It processes everything we see, hear, and do. Sometimes we aren’t aware of this process because it occurs in the subconscious (kind of like the background programs on a computer).

        I, too, will never be able to wrap my mind around why it is so wrong for people to have faulty “wiring” when computers and other things can crash. Why can’t a brain “crash”?

        I do understand that many people are afraid of people with mental disorders, but I think that distortion by the media, etc., of people with mental issues as being dangerous across the board has something to do with it. People get the generalized view of mental illness, when, in fact the experience is much more personal.

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