Ruby Wax saved my life.
I have known about the symptoms and signs of depression ever since my Dad died in 2009. I could recognise them, acknowledge them, sit with them or do what I could to banish them. If I felt tired all the time even after sleeping, or felt sad for a prolonged amount of time, or if I lost all desire to do the things I loved, I knew depression was in town. While acknowledging it didn't make it disappear, it did help to know what I was dealing with.
Imagine my horror when I started experiencing anxiety without knowing what it was. I honestly had no idea. I'd had many a panic attack in my life but this, this was different. It was prolonged and full of crazy, inexplicable symptoms. Dizziness, chest pains, breathlessness, disassociation (which I want to delve into later on), nausea even diarrhea, yeah, that. All of these symptoms together is what drove me to the doctor, with my urine sample ready in an old caper jar and my arm prepped to give blood, I had already convinced myself the prognosis was bad. It took 3 trips, 2 urine samples and 3 blood tests before the doctor eventually referred me to a psychiatrist. Just after my first session with her I discovered Ruby Wax's TED talk. And honestly, I believe it saved my life. Ruby Wax became one of my heroes.
Suddenly I saw this lovely, successful, hilarious women laughing in the face of anxiety and depression. She also flipped a switched in my brain, she explains so succinctly why this happens to us (and why more and more of us are experiencing it).
What once made you safe, now makes you insane. I urge you to watch this 8 minute video, it was such an ah-ha moment for me that I go back to it now and again to remind myself of just how important my work here is.
Ruby also says that, at the moment it's 1 in 4 people suffering mental illness, pretty soon it'll be 4 in 4. I believe her. The world is just getting more and more insane. If we stick together, we'll win the battle and the war. Any more fallen soldiers we'll be able to pick them up and carry them back to base because we know what we're dealing with.