Ruby Wax is a loud, funny woman -- who spent much of her comedy career battling depression in silence. Now her work blends mental health advocacy and laughs.
Winston Churchill called it "the Black Dog" -- a depression that settled over him and drained the flavor from life. Ruby Wax knows the Black Dog well; throughout the '80s and '90s, during a flourishing career as a brash comedian and interviewer in the UK, it trotted at her heels, even while she was interviewing the Duchess of York and sorting through Imelda Marcos' shoes.
After taking a timeout to learn how to manage the condition, Wax produced a stand-up comedy show called "Losing It" that directly addresses her mental health experiences, hilariously but powerfully. And she's started up a new social network called the Black Dog Tribe, which offers a community and support to people with depression. Meanwhile, she's working on her Master's in cognitive therapy.
“People who say … they're perfectly fine [are] more insane than the rest of us.”
“How come every other organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy, except the brain?”
“[With depression] you get a real sense of shame, because your friends go, ‘Oh come on, show me the lump, show me the x-rays,’ and of course you've got nothing to show.”