“Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?”

The video I watched was one that made me tear up but also laugh. The speaker, Ruby Wax, put humor into her speech and made me think deeper into the topic that she was discussing. “What once made you happy, now makes you insane”, is just one of the quotes that stood out to me while watching the Ted video, “Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?” It took me a while to figure out which video I was going to pick, actually I watched probably 6 different videos. But after all the tragic that my family had been through in the past day and a half, this video stuck out to me. Ruby Wax described that the things that once made us happy are now making us insane.  My uncle and aunt experience once again what it’s like to have something that makes you happy, now makes you insane, thy  have worked so hard after the Atlas storm to get back on their feet just to watch a devastating tornado ruin their home, horses, equipment, and ranch. Ruby also said that while she was in the hospital suffering from depression, people would tell her to perk up, well let me tell you after witnessing not only my family but also the ranchers around them who could slowly fall in to depression, it’s not that they need to “perk up”, it’s that they need support, love, prayers, and HELP!

This fits into education as well. As teachers, we don’t always know what our students are going through but we always try to tell them to “perk up”, well sometimes the student you told that to wished it was that easy. Now I am not saying that this is true all the time, but who’s to judge? Mental illness is a wide range of mental health conditions. These disorders can affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Some of the common illnesses are depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. As you can see not all these illnesses, not all of them can be spotted by looking at the victim. But yet we think we can. Instead of telling someone to “perk up”, how about we ask them if there’s anything we can do or it can be as simply as being a listening ear.

In conclusion, be there for the students around you and for your students, because you aren’t in their shows, nor do you know what they are going through.


Picture from aboutmodafinil.com


5 thoughts on ““Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?”

  1. “Like a hundred thousand voices, like the devil had tourettes!” I love this lady. Thank you so much for sharing this! Many members of my family suffer from anxiety and depression, and a video like this tells people that mental illnesses are not something to be ashamed of. I hope everyone who experienced the tornado in your family is okay! I’m sending my best wishes to them! I believe ending the stigma against mental illnesses is a priority. Not only to end depression leading to suicides in schools, but also to get people who have always been told just to “perk up” the help they need to live a happy life. I loved this video and I loved your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you put that not always can you look at someone and know what’s wrong with them. As my wife loves to say to me, “Stop looking like a sociopath.” Apparently, the way I hold myself is the same as Ted Bundy or something. Having a shopping cart of illnesses myself, I know what it’s like to have someone say, “Perk up” or “I’ll pray for you”. It’s not something you really what to hear, more so if you’re not a Bible follower (Christian, Catholic or have not). What I find best is being able to rant, rave, and say whatever is on my mind without judgment. This is not easy with the way people think today. You say, “I’d like to kick them in the ***” and all of a sudden you’re a violent person, when in retrospect you would never do such a thing. As I’d like to put it, rage ranting, is very helpful for those that are down and out, but no one wants to just listen to rage ranting without putting in their two cents be it advice or judgement. Therefore, people keep it bottled up inside, and when the top finally does blow, bad things usually happen. More people just need to learn to listen without comment or judgment unless someone seeks advice, and as you said, not the advice of “Perk up”.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have never had any illnesses (except being allergic to penicillin) so I will not nor do I even have the grounds to speak on that subject personally. But I do know how it feels to have friends that have had these things said to them or been in the same boat as Wax. I’ve had friends treated for mental illnesses. At some point or another, one person needs to step in and do something different. Instead of telling them to “perk up” (or another synonymous term), go crazy with them. I, along with my friends, have found it extremely helpful, relieving, and just plain fun to do something completely out of the ordinary. Bridge jumping, mudding, tree climbing, cart racing, or just driving around with the music up and windows down are just a few of the activities that I have done that have helped my friends and I regain our sanity in the few weeks it takes the world to devoid us of. Reading this, some people might say, “I used to do these things as a kid! How are they out of the ordinary?” And my response is simple: “Do you do these activities on a regular basis today?” I think everyone needs to find that one person who won’t tell you to “perk up,” but rather help ensure that you do by going crazy with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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