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“Why, when you have a mental disease, is it always considered an act of imagination? Why is it that every organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy except the brain?”
Ruby Wax
“I'll say it again - mental illness is a physical illness. You wouldn't consider going up to someone suffering from Alzheimers to yell, "Come on, get with it, you remember where you left your keys?" Let us shout it from the rooftops until everyone gets the message; depression has and nothing to do with having a bad day or being sad, it's a killer if not taken seriously.”
Ruby Wax
“It's an unfortunate word, 'depression', because the illness has nothing to do with feeling sad, sadness is on the human palette. Depression is a whole other beast. It's when your old personality has left town and been replaced by a block of cement with black tar oozing through your veins and mind. This is when you can't decide whether to get a manicure or jump off a cliff. It's all the same. When I was institutionalised I sat on a chair unable to move for three months, frozen in fear. To take a shower was inconceivable. What made it tolerable was while I was inside, I found my tribe - my people. They understood and unlike those who don't suffer, never get bored of you asking if it will ever go away? They can talk medication all hours, day and night; heaven to my ears.”
Ruby Wax
“This disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you get sympathy.”
Ruby Wax
“It’s as though as a species we have no brakes, only breakdowns.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“It's so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.”
Ruby Wax
“1 in 5 people have dandruff. 1 in 4 people have mental health problems. I've had both.”
Ruby Wax
“In my opinion, our downfall began when we started to think of ourselves as ‘individuals’.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“It’s amazing how we will suffer pain and abuse to keep our lives predictable. We’ll let our inner voices brutalize us, rather than live with the possibility that we might be wrong about how we see things. We’ll think, ‘Well at least it’s a pain that’s familiar’. Uncertainty”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“On the toilet no one is a star. Remember that and you will go far in life.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming The Mind
“We never see the world as it really is but only how we see it. And because we’re trapped in our own interpretation, we are prepared to go to war with other people caught in their view of reality – and never the twain shall meet.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“We hold those who are on the tightest of schedules in reverence; the busier you are, the higher your status as a human being. For those of us who suffer from this phenomenon, we have sped up to such a frenzy of things “to do,” we make ourselves ill just to avoid having to look inside and see that we might not have any point at all. So who is ultimately the winner? The busy, running people? Or maybe it’s someone who sits on a rock and fishes all day or someone who has the time to feel the breeze on his face? Who is the real winner? (Please dear God, I hope it’s not the guy with the fish.)”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: A User's Guide to the Normal-Crazy Mind
“The most cognitively brilliant people usually have had to sacrifice their emotional selves.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“One evening, a Native American elder told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride and superiority. The other is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion.’ The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf wins?’ The elder simply replied, ‘The one that you feed.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“Here’s what I don’t understand: if something called neuroplasticity is a hard, cold fact, why haven’t we, the masses, heard much about it? Why are we left sitting here with a measly fourteen shades of grey, when, if we’re talking about the brain, there are a trillion possible shades.”
Ruby Wax, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled
“Addiction Let’s make one thing clear: we’re not just addicted to drugs, sex or alcohol, we can also get addicted to our thoughts and feelings of panic, anxiety and despair. Just to get another hit, we might hunt for people who create those feelings we’re addicted to; we always find the perfect perpetrator. Some people can’t tell if they have a relationship with someone because they like them or just because this person keeps the chemicals they’re addicted to bubbling in their veins.”
Ruby Wax, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled
“We are our own walking pharmacies shooting ourselves up with our own homemade chemicals. This constant need for a fix to make you feel good prompts you to pursue rewards over and over again and strengthens the behaviour that made you want to get them in the first place. It’s a vicious circle. So”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“These days, I feel that what kills the spark of curiosity is the fact that everything hangs on a grade. Nothing will burn out an interest quicker. I’m aware high grades get you into a great university where you will go to the best parties, but if you get hooked on this chasing the grade thing and (even worse) if your parents push you too hard, you might find that you get the habit of chasing a rabbit for the rest of your life, thinking that there will be some reward in front of you, always just out of reach.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“If we’re not wanting, we’re waiting. Waiting for what, we don’t know, but something and it’s going to happen soon.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: A User's Guide to the Normal-Crazy Mind
“Our brains collect images from the moment we’re born and file them away as either safe or dangerous. Whenever we see someone or something we dive into our memories to see who that person or scene reminds us of.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“Each of us thinks somewhere inside we have a purpose. Long ago we didn’t have this existentialist angst; we were hunters or gatherers.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“So this is the human condition: we’re living longer, getting taller, and are a push of a finger away from every other person on the planet and yet we do not know how to run ourselves.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“So many people want to label you as funny or aggressive or a mess. We are condemned by other people to stagnate in the image they have of us; held ransom by their expectations like a butterfly pinned on cardboard.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“I’ve learnt that if you let out your anger on someone, it comes back to you like acid reflux and you’ve poisoned yourself and feel toxic and nauseated while the taxi driver probably just goes back to his home and wife and has a lovely life. I”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“The point is, we’re all changing all the time. You once found it hard to tie a shoelace and now you don’t even have to look. The change is so subtle; you think that whatever you feel like right now is how you always felt. Our brain can trick us into thinking life stands still. In the end this causes the human race the most heartache. Blinkered”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“And as we get older, our lenses get more and more narrow and blurrier until we only see our own tiny pin-point view; this limited vision eventually makes bigots of us all. This is why so many marriages fall apart. You meet someone, think that you know them, marry them and then ten years later you divorce them because they turned out not to be who you thought they were. They never were.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“Our brain has been shaped by evolutionary pressure over time to provide our bodies with ever more efficient ways of surviving and reproducing. It is designed to process all information for the purpose of living on, it doesn’t care about happiness – it has things to do, places to go.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“This mish mash of three brains, called the lizard-squirrel-monkey brain, all trying to function at once is one reason why we’re nuts.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“when we perceive danger, adrenaline shoots into us but because we can’t kill a traffic warden or eat an estate agent, the juice never comes back down. We’re in a constant state of red light alert, like a car siren that drives you nuts. Because”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind
“The feeling is that of being a corpse, no sense of skin or other extremities, like fingers or legs. I’m this empty thing now and honestly have no recollection of the chutzpah I had only last week. Now nothing is anything, and everything is nothingness, just the cannons of pressure going off in my head. It’s as if your old personality has been sucked out so slowly that you didn’t notice its departure. Very slowly it’s been stolen away and each day you remember less and less of who you are and what you feel.”
Ruby Wax, Sane New World: Taming the Mind

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