Hi there I'm Ruby Wax. I've done a few televion shows for the last 25 years also editing Ab Fab and recently graduation from oxford with a masters in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy.

I've written a comedy book on neuroscience and mindfulness.

Ask me about anything, what's wrong with you, what's wrong with me, what's wrong with the world, how your brain works, How to stop the critical voices and busyness and all else that makes the human race crazy or about my cats called Socks and Tigger.

Proof! https://twitter.com/Rubywax/statuses/351115368439349248

[Edit - Thanks for all your replies, I'm signing off now. We'll do it earlier next time for the UK people. In the mean time, here's some actions pictures of my cats :) ]




Comments: 103 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

rageagainstlelapins14 karma

My mum attempted suicide when I was 11, and was left in a vegetative state. Throughout the time I knew her, she had a deep depression that a lot of my family were resentful towards her for. They didn't understand why my mum had those feelings, and were incredibly angry at letting herself suffer through what they thought was a bit of a bad mood that she could solve on her own.

She passed away of pneumonia when I was 15, and I always felt like a massive part of my life was both robbed from me, and left unanswered. I didn't understand the anger my family felt towards her, and didn't understand why she chose to end her own life. I've never been angry myself at what happened to her, I'm just disappointed that she didn't receive the support she needed. Also, I desperately wanted to know what had happened to my mum that she felt ending her own life was the only way to escape what she felt.

I haven't got a question, I have a thanks to give. Thank you, for the beautiful talk you gave for TED about mental health. Because it eased my feelings about my mother's death wonderfully: it's a physical illness she suffered from, and sometimes there aren't any answers we can be given as to why things affect us how they do. I really felt thankful and relieved to be given the insight you gave in that talk, and it's made me a lot more appreciative of what happened.

Also, another thanks for discussing the fact mental health DOES NOT need to be stigmatic. I've had dirty looks from friends before when they asked how my mum died and I've always thought it was bullshit.

RubyWax17 karma

What a message. there were so many people who suffered unnecessarily because we didn't know what mental illness was 2 generations back it's a left over when when they thought it was demon possession. I'm so so sorry about your mom but the fact you can talk about it so clearly means you're not just helping yourself but helping others. Thank you for saying those things about me

stacersnape8 karma

Any plans for another interview with OJ?

RubyWax11 karma

OJ sadly is in prison and if he isn't he should be I have never met a crazier person who tried to stab me with a banana http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwYctVDQFqQ

barrbarian847 karma

Hi Ruby. Firstly I want to say that the work you have done to raise awareness of mental health issues and to encourage more of us to talk about them is remarkable and you, along with Stephen Fry, are a real inspiration. Thank you.

My question: Who paid for all the broken china after Jim Carrey's table cloth trick at The Dorchester? That interview is still one of the funniest things I think I've ever seen.

RubyWax2 karma

The Dorchester paid for it like they should have

maxpain516 karma

Hello, Thank you for taking the time to do this. My biggest interest in mental health right now is how it pertains to gun laws. Do you think someone who is mentally ill and wants to commit a murder will reconsider if he or she does not have access to a gun? Also, have you had any experience in a clinical setting involving mental health? Is there a paper or digital trail that could serve as a red flag if someone tries to purchase a firearm and has mental health issues?

RubyWax16 karma

Is you want to buy a gun and you aren't hunting a buffalo ask yourself what is the purpose is it because you're extemely paranoid? If you are then you should probably seek help.

maxpain51-9 karma

This...this does not answer my question whatsoever?

RubyWax19 karma

I wish there was some kind of checking of the mental state of someone who's getting a gun I don't think there is. The face that 1 in 4 people have a mental problem means that they should make it incredibly difficult to buy a gun

TwoTailedFox5 karma

I'm autistic. I get the impression my brain would fascinate you.

RubyWax10 karma

Most autistic people are fascinating because they think waaaaay out of the box

minafae5 karma

Hi there, I hope you're doing well! I've delt with depression since I was in high school, and am now 23. I've never found any official help with it (besides some doctor recently put me on anti-depressants) but have been lucky, I suppose, to have a mother who cares enough about me to listen to me when I'm at my very lowest points and help keep my anxiety at a minimum, but she just listens...ya know? I've definitely gotten hurt emotionally and lost friends due to my depression. Wanting to be alone instead of letting people see me at my worst. I just want to say that I admire you so very much in all of your endeavors and all that you've dealt with in your life. I'm sure you've dealt with far worse than anything I've mentioned, and I'd be thankful for any advice. Also, I'd like to say how much your work has given me joy and I'm thankful for you.

RubyWax5 karma

You need to hunt out a doctor who doesn't just throw any pill at you like M and M's. If your friends leave you-screw they aren't worth it. If you find people like yourself that is almost the best cure

bikemessenger5 karma

Can you describe what mindfulness means and how it could be of benefit to daily life? Bonus points if you're funny.

RubyWax15 karma

It means learning to pay attention to your thoughts without being judgemental so you're learning to deal with the onslaught of critical voices they won't go away but you learn to turn down the volume and not obey every demand. My cat does it and loves it

evilsalmon5 karma

Hi Ruby. I know this is a silly question but which priory did you go to? If you don't want to answer that's fine.

Also what do you think about the diagnosis of personality disorders? I have a couple of friends who have been diagnosed with BPD, and except for one of them I would not agree with it being appropriate.

RubyWax8 karma

mental illnesses shouldn't be labelled too specifically with depression you get ocd anxiousness panic and the urge to tear out people's eyes so where's the line you cross when it's BPD

mirandab1013 karma

Wow - what good timing. Its 12:18 am here in UK and I just popped on to twitter and saw you were doing this. I would do anything for the answer on the critical voice and busyness dilemma - although I know Mindfulness has a huge part to play. Also fascinated by Socks and Tigger - since you mentioned them. (If anyone else is reading this, then please make sure you buy a copy of Sane New World because its bloody brilliant.) Come back soon Ruby and lots of love xxx

RubyWax3 karma

Socks and tigger are fine they have no critical voices nor are they busy but like them we are driven by very primitive biology that makes us hunt and forage continuously. It saved us 100,000 years ago it kills us now

RubyWax3 karma

Yes it is in your power but you have to work at it otherwise it will sneak up and overtake you we've spent a lifetime being critical and busy it will take awhile to break the habit

tao_of_pooh2 karma

Loving your book Ruby I to have been fascinated by the new developments in neuroscience been a counsellor for 12 years and this is making and changing my practice would love to talk , your book makes the new science understandable and interesting

RubyWax5 karma

Thank you for that to me neuroscience is as close to knowing who we are as we can get. You can't argue with a photo of your brain. I've seen mine and watched it think. Most amazing thing

MiaVee2 karma

Hi Ruby, thank you for doing this AMA. I look forward to reading "Sane New World." I read your memoirs a few years ago (I actually first became a fan of yours after seeing the movie "Shock Treatment", which is going back a while!) and thoroughly enjoyed your writing style and candour. I also have a more personal interest as I've been living with depression and a personality disorder for over half my life (I was actually delighted to have a guest post of mine published over at the Black Dog Tribe site.)

For those of you that might not be familiar with it, Ruby founded the Black Dog Tribe site as an online information and support community for people affected by mental health challenges, whether as sufferers, survivors, carers or friends. I've found it to be a wonderful source of personal support and information that's helped me to understand both my own illness and the experiences of others.

I guess I didn't really have a question, but I know that reddit has a number of mental health-related communities on it who may be interested in BDT, so I wanted to give it a shout-out here and recommend it for anybody who might be interested.

Ruby: from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the work that you do to break down stigma and misinformation around mental health. I know that there is still a long way to go but to have women like you in the public eye fighting the good fight for those of us that may struggle to make ourselves heard means so very, very much. Admitting to and speaking openly about mental illness can be one of the most frightening, seemingly impossible things to do but it's only through increasing the dialogue and furthering the discussion that attitudes will change and support will improve.

Oh also, if you fancy reaping even more delicious reddit karma, be sure to post pictures of Socks and Tigger. Cats are the supreme overlords of the internet.

(for anybody who might be interested, the post I wrote for BDT is here, didn't want to put it any further up the post for fear of looking a bit shameless)

RubyWax2 karma

Thanks for mentioning BDT I was trying to get people who wanted to get a place where people who wanted to stay anonymous could meet

RubyWax1 karma

I have to tweet socks and tigger they are very shy and I will have to hunt out their photos

classyprep2 karma

I must say that you were brilliant and did an excellent job on the episode from the series Ruby Wax Meets...Imelda Marcos. I learned so much from it and enjoyed watching the series!!!

RubyWax8 karma

Yes Imelda was my favorite she sang to me "Feelings' that's pretty good considering she stole 10 billion from her people but I loved her she didn't know any better

salinger0072 karma


RubyWax2 karma

my book is on on kindle I would buy it because I worked on that sucker for 2 years and it's hilaious [edit - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BFSM9G4 ]

thewrongkindofbacon1 karma

You went to Iceland with the wonderfully absurd comedian Hans Teeuwen for Dutch television.

You are both 'heavy weights' in a way, what was it like?

RubyWax2 karma

He is the most hilarious man I've ever met besides Jim Carrey. He

Robotobot1 karma

Hi Ruby, Do you think that mental health is often a taboo issue because it's easier to dismiss it than really tackle it, or for another reason?

Also, I despise how mental health isn't treated with near the amount of respect that physical illnesses is, their are many mental disorders which have a higher fatality rate than physical ones.

RubyWax2 karma

Supposedly stress and other mental disorders will be the biggest killers in 2020 and also mental illness is the cause of heart attack. breakdown of immune system.and many kinds of cancer

notapostergirl-13 karma

Do you realise how angry you make people when you claim to be the poster girl for mental health? Do you realise how little you represent people living at the sharp end of the system? Do you understand how easy you've had it treatment-wise compared to people who have to endure the hell that is NHS mental health "care"? Why do you parade mental illness around like it's fashionable? Who decided you are the poster girl? Why don't you speak for anyone but yourself and people who've had the same experiences as you? Are you simply not aware or is it that you just don't care?

RubyWax11 karma

I'm sorry you're so angry I was only sticking my toes in the water to try and break a bit of a stigma