Excerpt from Ruby Wax’s, “What’s So Funny About Mental Illness?”
One in four people suffer from some sort of mental illness, I am one of the one in four. I think I inherited it from my mother, who, use to crawl around the house on all fours.She had two sponges in her hand, and then she had two tied to her knees. My mother was completely absorbent. And she would crawl around behind me going, "Who brings footprints into a building?!" So that was kind of a clue that things weren't right. So before I start, I would like to thank the makers of Lamotrigine, Sertraline, and Reboxetine, because without those few simple chemicals, I would not be vertical today.
(When hospitalized) I wasn't sent a lot of cards or flowers. I mean, if I had of had a broken leg or I was with child I would have been inundated, but all I got was a couple phone calls telling me to perk up. Perk up! Because I didn't think of that.
Because, you know, the one thing, one thing that you get with this disease, this one comes with a package, is you get a real sense of shame, because your friends go, "Oh come on, show me the lump, show me the x-rays," and of course you've got nothing to show, so you're, like, really disgusted with yourself because you're thinking, "I'm not being carpet-bombed. I don't live in a township." So you start to hear these abusive voices, but you don't hear one abusive voice, you hear about a thousand -- 100,000 abusive voices, like if the Devil had Tourette's, that's what it would sound like.
(But we all know) there are no voices in your head. You know that when you have those abusive voices, all those little neurons get together and in that little gap you get a real toxic "I want to kill myself" kind of chemical, and if you have that over and over again on a loop tape, you might have yourself depression. Oh, and that's not even the tip of the iceberg. If you get a little baby, and you abuse it verbally, its little brain sends out chemicals that are so destructive that the little part of its brain that can tell good from bad just doesn't grow, so you might have yourself a homegrown psychotic. If a soldier sees his friend blown up, his brain goes into such high alarm that he can't actually put the experience into words, so he just feels the horror over and over again.
So here's my question. My question is, how come when people have mental damage, it's always an active imagination? How come every other organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy, except the brain?
…can we please stop the stigma?