What’s so funny about mental illness? Comedian Ruby Wax knows a few things
“I’m one of the one in four,” says Ruby Wax and laughs. And she immediately thanks three antidepressants, naming them and saying that she would not be on stage today if it wasn’t for them. Her eight-minute TED talk is a passionate a plea for the destigmatization of depression, both passionate and hilarious. Wax’s comedy dissects the absurd ways in which society deals with mental health – the results are as clever as they are amusing: „How come every other organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy, except the brain?“
“We suffer in solitude, silenced by stigma” – Sangu Delle on the difficult situation of people affected by depression in Nigeria
Sangu Delle gets right to the core of the problem: “Nigeria, for example, is estimated to have 200 psychiatrists in a country of almost 200 million.“ The Ghanaian talks about his experiences with his mental illness and the severity of stigmatization in Nigeria. Large parts of the Nigerian population believe that mental illnesses are either caused by drug abuse, the will of God, or witchcraft. People affected by depression are afraid of being discriminated against as „Mad Men“.
“The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality” – Andrew Solomon looks deeply into depressed souls
You have to take your time for Andrew Solomon. His lecture is almost 30 minutes long. But every minute is worthwhile. The writer shares his experience and understanding of depression, poetic and with much empathy. He encourages us to be more open concerning this very widespread illness. According to Solomon, depression is a family secret that each of us is familiar with, while only very few talk about it. Solomon tells us about a married couple, where both partners are suffering from depression and taking antidepressants. Separately, they ask him what he thinks about their medication. And both ask him not to tell their respective spouse about the conversation. The couple shares a bed – but they did not share the secret of being affected by depression with each other.