I was thrilled to have the chance to catch up with Ruby Wax to talk about her views on turning 50 and plans for the future and the important work she’s doing to take away the stigma often associated with depression
Q. How did you view turning 50?
A. For me I see turning 50 is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. It’s a point in your life which you know is coming, and you need to prepare for it. I knew I would have to do something different , and last year I went to school at Oxford! My kids are SO jealous as I have got to Oxford before them. I’m studying mindfulness based cognitive therapy.
It was painful for me to not be in showbusiness in the way I was before. I believe certain jobs require a ‘young’ brain, others require an ‘older’ brain, we need to recognise what roles fit our brains and plan for that. Our brains have the capacity to regenerate throughout our lives, but certain parts become stronger, so we have different skills at different stages.
I’ve always been interested in the brain , and what can be achieved in the second half of life. We should have a better understanding of what can be achieved.
Q. Can you tell us more about the show/forum you’re involved in and how it can help take away the stigma often associated with depression
A. Well in 4 of us will suffer from mental health issues at some stage of our lives. With Ruby Wax-Losing It, the show hits at the truth and shares some of my own experiences- but it is a comedy! There is no manual that tells us how to live, we have to make it up s we go along. If you have depression you can feel like an outsider, the show acts as a sort of guide to help show you where you can fit in. People watch and can think ‘Me Too!’
The second half of the show is more open, people can join in , ask for help. We have brilliant speakers and people from associations such as SANE and MIND who can offer advice, and people can meet others suffering from the same predicament. The show is about them as much as it about me, hopefully they will feel they can open up.
Q. What advice would you give someone who has a family member going through depression?
A. I would suggest they call SANE or MIND. Ask the person what you can do to help- don’t tell them what you would do in their shoes.
We each have to find our passion in life. We have to be real. At 50 its not too late to find and follow your passion and do something you find really fulfilling.