Ruby Wax on Mental Health

Books, Events, General ramblings, London, People

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‘A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?’ – Albert Einstein
(runner up for quote for this post- ‘One is very crazy when in love’- Sigmund Freud, I’m not sure that there has ever been a bigger understatement made in the history of mankind)
Mental health and well-being is a subject extremely close to my heart. I have seen the devastation and debilitation that mental illnesses and also less severe mental stress/pressure can have on an individual and their lives. From acute stress and anxiety on a day to day basis in the workplace to depression, eating disorders and mood disorders in my circle of dear friends, to the full spectrum in my volunteering with the charity The Samaritans.
I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion held by my workplace, at which the fabulous Ruby Wax was a guest panelist. She spoke honestly and fiercely to a room of eager listeners about her experience and her work into understanding mental illness. I hope that there was plenty of food for thought for the decision makers in the room, because there is a vast divide between the ideal working environment which is truly inclusive and supportive of all and the corporate machine that is in place currently. Change is hard, but I hope that the event really inspired the leaders to lead in this area, where so many big companies are woefully behind.
I’m keen not to waffle on as I am no expert here. However, I want to raise awareness and understanding so here are a couple of things that I think are key and then some places I know where you can get further information for yourself and for others you are worried about:
1. Mental illness is not the same as general day-to-day stress. Of course this is still not great and we should all endeavor to minimise this, but there are medically diagnosable mental health issues which cannot be treated without the help and support of medical professionals
2. Illnesses that fall under mental illnesses: Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, impulse and control disorders, personality disorders, adjustment disorders, dissociative disorders.. the list goes on.
3. 1 in 4 people will suffer with some form of mental health disorder in the course of a year
4. The economic cost of mental illnesses is estimated to be £62 billion each year
5. When you have a illness of any other region of your body aside from your brain, it is your brain that identifies a problem and tries to respond. When your brain is suffering from some form of illness it is unable to identify this, there is no brain to monitor the brain! Which is why suffers may not recognise the symptoms for long period of time or not thing there is anything wrong with them
6. To treat a mental health condition, a professional should be consulted, it is virtually impossible to treat otherwise
Please find support in the following places:
Mind:
@MindCharity
Samaritans:
Mental Health Foundation:
Ruby Wax:
@Rubywax
Ruby Wax- Sane New World (seperate review on this fantastic book to come!)
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3 thoughts on “Ruby Wax on Mental Health

  1. I can’t believe you were also in the front row…! We might have been really near each other. You will love writing your blog – I find mine so therapeutic. Monday was AMAZING. It was so thought provoking. I will definitely be going to see her show in the Autumn again – do get a ticket to the Richmond one and I am sure you won’t have any difficulty finding a friend to go with but I don’t have any shame doing that kind of thing on my own – it often makes me pay attention more. Amazing of you to write a review too. Hope our paths cross again soon xx

  2. Firstly, amazing blog and blog post. And secondly, I was there last night…! What an amazing evening – I wish more companies like pwc took mental illness as seriously as they do. Ruby is a phenomenon and I have been lucky enough to do a lot with her around mental health awareness and stigma stamping. (I was her friend in the front row..!) Come and see her show, Sane New World, which is on tour again in September..!

    1. Hey Miranda! So lovely to hear from you 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind words on the blog, it a new little project and loving it so far. Wasn’t Monday night just brilliant? Such provoking discussion (I was sitting in the front row too!) and with Ruby there to cut through the politeness and really get to the heart of the issues, without trying to sweeten the message, I think that people really took something away from it. I’m so very keen to come along to the show, I was looking it up yesterday in fact! I will be getting a ticket (hopefully more than one if I can find a keen friend!) to come along to the Richmond show. I’m also half way through Ruby’s book, so will stick a review of both that and the show up too. If there is anything at all I can do with/for you guys I’d be very happy to get involved. Just get in touch!

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