Ruby Wax: I've spent a lifetime pretending everything is okay!
Ruby Wax has "spent a lifetime" fighting depression.
The 70-year-old star described mental illness as the "black hole of diseases" and has often tried to give the impression that "all is well" but has struggled with her demons even when her career has been going well.
She told The Observer: "It's the black hole of diseases, where you sit helpless as your mind hammers you with accusations. Your thoughts attack like little demons biting chunks out of your brain. It’s hard to stay alive and listen. I’ve spent a lifetime creating a ‘front’ to give the illusion that all is well. It wasn’t and it isn’t
"I’ll never know. What was the moment? That time [in the monastery] could have been the most pleasurable experience. Maybe it was because I’d got off medication to do the psilocybin [a “potential cure for depression. But it can happen when your career is going really well… there is no predictor. Depression is a disease that decides to rear its head – like herpes.
The award-winning actress - who was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health - visited a church in the Christian brotherhood, the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield when depression hit and had to lie to the priest because she couldn't face anything and explained she used to try to fight her mental health issues by ploughing through work instead.
I just wanted to go to bed, so I lied to him.
"I lied to a priest. I think he probably knew I didn’t have a Zoom call, but he still looked at me with non-judgmental love. I used to be able to see it [depression] coming and pull back everything. I’d know to cancel, cancel, cancel. I’d go to my room, a safe place where nobody can get me, and where I can see the door knob – because I have a fear of being locked in. Sometimes I’ve been there for weeks. Instead of having to go to a hospital, I’d wait for the dopamine. Before that, I used to keep working and overriding it, then I’d get really ill. I usually know the tipping point. But this time, I missed it."