Comedian Ruby Wax presented a TED lecture on mental illness that is inspiring. She tells us how mental illness has affected her. She says, "depression and mental illness may not be visible, but they are real — and they come with a sense of shame built in. When you are ill, you want to see your lump or your x-rays, but with mental illness you have nothing to see. Every other organ in the body can get sick and you get sympathy, except the brain."
I wrote about this in my book--Year 3, Chapter 2-Adjustments
As well as visiting schools in April, Matthew received an MRI of his brain that I had wanted him to have since the start of his psychotic episodes. I still hoped to explain away all of his mental illness with a brain tumor. During Matthews’s recent yearly physical, he told the doctor that he had several fainting episodes in the past year. I scheduled an appointment for Matthew to see a neurologist. The neurologist drew blood, performed examinations, monitored Matthew’s brain with electrodes, and administered an MRI, but despite the search for something other than mental illness, Matthew’s brain was a perfect specimen.
I did not want to be the mother of a child with a mental illness. I wanted to run away from it, as I had wanted to run away from all of the symptoms he had displayed in the past, but I couldn’t. I needed to embrace and except his illness. Mental illness is an intimidating disease that people shy away from, but it is a disease, and it can be treated. Mental illness is a challenging illness, because we can’t see it or sometimes even diagnose it. Everyone wants to be able to look at their illness on an x-ray or a scan and say, “There it is.” People with mental illness are denied that satisfaction. There isn’t anything to look at and see, to touch or quantify; it’s simply there. We need to realize that mental illness is an illness, and we all have to learn more about it for the sake of our future generations.
Mental Health America’s motto is “The invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses and addictions.” We need to help people break free of those bonds so they can obtain the support they need in a world where mental illness is not something they hide from or are embarrassed by, but rather an illness in need of a treatment.
Watch the video for yourself and see Ruby in action.