Ruby Wax has bared her soul by admitting to fans she is suffering from her first big bout of depression in 12 years, and saying she has ‘dead eyes’. The comedian, 69, who has battled with her mental health over the years and quit TV 25 years ago as a result of depression, admitted she is ‘frazzled’ and ‘didn’t spot the signs’ as she told fans of her current battle with the illness that makes thoughts ‘so agonising it’s hard to stay alive.’
Ruby also told her fans just a few days ago that she was experiencing the first bout of depression in twelve years. She said this time it took her by surprise. Alongside a zoomed-in image of her eyes, she wrote: ‘I have gone on about stopping the stigma for mental illness for about 15 years; writing books, performing in theatre shows speaking at businesses.
‘Questioning why it’s treated differently than if someone had a physical disease. Over the years I’ve asked people suffering from both physical and mental problems which is worse and without exception they always say mental.‘There’s a feeling that you’ve done something wrong when your own mind turns on you and takes revenge for something you never did.
‘It’s the black hole of diseases where you sit helpless as your mind hammers you with accusitions, sucks out your soul and spits it out and the brutality of your thoughts become so agonizing it’s hard to stay alive and have to listen.’ She continued: ‘Because I’m committed to dropping the shame, I feel I need to walk the talk at this point. Here’s the situation I have depression at the moment.
‘Nothing happened specifically to bring it on. I come from a long line of ancestors with various flavours of mental illness so genetically, it seems it’s a no-brainer that I’d be the next in line.
‘Not my fault, or even the fault of my relatives, it’s deeply planted in our genes.’Ruby said mindfulness had stopped her suffering for a long time, explaining: ‘My last bad bout was about twelve years ago so I haven’t done badly. Mindfulness was a wonderful tool, helping me spot early onslaughts and awareness is the key.
‘It meant I could hold back the the snowballing effect of depression before it rendered me helpless, where I’d sit gormless in a darkened room too afraid to take a shower.’ She added: ‘This time, I didn’t spot the signs. I’m coming out of it already otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this because you can hardly speak, let alone type.
‘When I recover, I’m going to write my next book called, ‘I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was.’ Wish me luck.’ Her candid post was met with a plethora of supportive messages from her fans and showbiz pals, with Dawn French writing: ‘Love you Rubes x.’
While Lily Cole penned: ‘Sending you loads of love, I have been there too.’ Ruby has been open about her battle with clinical depression over the years, and in 2013 graduated with a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Kellogg College at Oxford University.
Appearing on the Crisis What Crisis? podcast in 2020, she told how she ‘lost her mojo’ while struggling with her mental health on television, and admitted it severely bruised her ego to be replaced.
However, the Girls On Top actress went on to stress that she’s glad her showbiz career came to an end when it did, because she may well have ‘harmed herself’ if she’d ended up on reality TV, which she believes would have been the inevitable next step.
When asked about her decision to distance herself from showbiz, and throw herself into understanding mindfulness and her study of psychotherapy, she said: ‘I was thrown out of it.’
When pushed further, she explained: ‘It was a mutual agreement, I started to hit depression while I was on TV, and that made it really difficult.’ The TV personality said her mental health meant her ‘brain was shutting down’ and she could no longer perform in the way she used to.
Ruby said she is glad she left showbiz when she did, and believes she could have been ‘eating a cockroach on an island’ by now if she had kept on taking jobs. Ruby went on to call her studies in psychotherapy a ‘life raft’, which she finds far ‘more exciting’ than her life in television.
‘If I was doing it now, it would be a tragedy,’ said Ruby. ‘There would be such unhappiness, I wouldn’t come out of an institution you could visit me in there. ‘I know when there’s a life raft, I jumped on that neuroscience like a mother, and it was totally exciting, more exciting than television.’
Ruby told that there was no ‘epiphany’ which helped her overcome her mental health disorder, and that at some points she didn’t know ‘whether to have a manicure or jump off a cliff’.