What's so funny about mental illness? | Ruby WaxApr 22, 2023
Translator: Alisa Isufaj Reviewer: Edona Qoqaj One in four people suffers from some form of
illness, so if it was one, two, three, four, it's you, sir. You. Yes. (laughs) With strange teeth. And you with him. (Laughter) You know who you are. Actually, that whole line is wrong. (laughs) That's not good. Yes, quite bad. Don't even look at me. (Laughter) I am one of the four. Thank you. I think I inherited it from my mother, that she used to crawl all over the house. She had two spears in her hand, then she had two more strapped to her leg.
My mother was completely absorbing. (Laughter) And she pulls up behind me and I say, "Who brought the prints into the building?" So this was a clue that things weren't right. So before I begin, I'd like to thank the makers of lamotrigine, sertraline, and reboxetine, because without those few simple chemicals, I wouldn't be on my feet today. So how did it start? My
illness, well I'm not even going to talk about my mental illness. What will I talk about? OK. I always dreamed that when I had my last meltdown, it would be because I had a deep Kafkaesque existentialist epiphany. or that maybe Cate Blanchett would play me and win an Oscar for it. (laughter).
But that's not
whathappened. I had my breakdown during my daughter's sports day. It was all the parents sitting in a parking lot eating food from the back of her car, just the English, eating their sausages. They loved her sausages. (Laughter) Mr. and Mrs. Rigor Mortis were eating down the street, and then the gun went off and all the girls started running, and all the moms were running, "Run, run, Chlamydia! Run!" (laughs) Run like the wind, Veruca! Run! "And all the girls, the girls were running, running, running, all except my daughter, who was standing alone at the start line, waiting for the signal, because she didn't know she was supposed to run.
So they led me." out of my bed after a month, and when I woke up after I was institutionalized and saw the other inmates, I realized that I had found my people, my tribe. (Laughter) They became my only friends, they became my friends, because very few people I knew - Well, I didn't send a lot of letters or flowers, I mean, if I had a broken leg or if I was pregnant, I would have been overwhelmed, but all I got was two phone calls saying (Laughter) (Laughter) (Applause) Because, you know, one thing, one thing you gain with this disease, it comes packed, you have a real sense of shame, my friends say, "Oh , come on, show us the bulge, show me the X-rays," and of course you have nothing to show, so you're really disgusted with yourself because you're thinking, "I'm not being bombarded.
I don't live in a city." So you start hearing these abusive voices, but you don't hear one abusive voice, you hear about a thousand, 100,000 abusive voices, like the Devil had Tourette's, that's
whatit sounded like. But, as we all know here, you know, there is no devil, there are no voices in your head. You know when you have those abusive voices, all those little neurons clump together in that little space, you get a poison of really "I want to kill myself," like some kind of chemical, and it happens over and over again like a black streak, it's possible that have depression.
Oh, and that's not even the tip of the iceberg. If you have a young child and you abuse him with words, his little brain sends out chemicals that are so destructive that the little part of the brain that allows us to tell right from wrong doesn't grow, so you can raise a psychotic at home. If a soldier sees his friend blown up, his brain goes on such high alert that he can't really put the experience into words, so he just experiences the horror over and over again. This is my question. My question is, how come people have mental disabilities, is it always an active imagination?
How can every other organ in your body get sick and you have pain everywhere but your brain? I'd like to talk a little bit more about the brain, because I know you love it here at TED, so if you could spare me a minute here, great. Well, let me tell you, there is good news. There is some good news. First of all, let me say that we have come a long way. We started out as a young amoeba, a tiny, single-celled, little one, climbing up a rock, and now, there it is, the brain. Here we go. (laughs) This little boy has a lot of power.
She comes fully conscious. She has the latest generation earlobe. We have the occipital lobe, so we can see the world. We take the temporal lobe to be able to hear the world. Here we have little long-term memory, so you know that night you want to forget, when you got drunk? Bye bye! Come on. (Laughter) So actually, it's full of 100 billion neurons, just a distant, zizzling, zizzing noise. I'll give you a view from here to the side. I don't know if you can get it here. (Laughter) So, saying zizzing from afar, and so - (Laughter) - And for each - you know, I came up with this myself.
For every neuron, you can have between 10,000 and 100,000 different connections or dendrites or whatever you want to call it, and every time you learn something or have an experience, that bush grows, you know, it's an information bush. Can you imagine, every human being carries this device, even Paris Hilton? (Laughter) Let's go with the photos. But I have bad news for people. I have bad news. This is not for one in four. That's about four in four. We are not equipped for the 21st century. Evolution did not prepare us for this. We just don't have the energy, and for the people who say, oh, you're having a good day, you're totally fine, you're crazier than the rest.
Because I'm going to show you where some evolving ships can be. Ok, let me explain this to you. When we were the first humans - (laughs) - millions of years ago, and all of a sudden we felt threatened by a predator, okay? - (laughs) - thank you. I painted them myself. (laughs) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. Yet we'd fill up on our adrenaline and our own cortisol, and then kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, and suddenly we'd ignite the fuel and be back to normal. So, the problem is that today, with modern man (Laughter) when we feel threatened, we still fill ourselves with our chemicals, but since we can't kill the traffic cops - (Laughter) - or eat the real estate agents, the fuel just stays in our body over and over again, so we are in a constant state of alert, in a constant state.
And here's another thing that happened. About 150,000 years ago, when language came online, we started talking about this constant emergence, so it wasn't just "Oh my God, there's a tiger with sharp teeth," it could be, all of a sudden, "Oh, Oh my god I didn't send the email oh my god my thighs are too fat oh my god everyone can see I'm stupid I didn't get invited to the Christmas party it goes on and on it drives you crazy so you see what the problem is? once it made you feel safe now it drives you crazy. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but someone has to be.
Your pets are happier than you are. (Laughter) So, cat, kitty , meow, happy, happy happy, human being, dammit. (Laughter) Totally and completely, that's it, dammit. But my point is, if we don't talk about these things, and we don't learn how to deal with our lives, we don't It's going to be one in four. It's going to be four out of four who are really, really going to get sick uptown. And while we're at it, can we stop the stigma? (Applause) Thank you.
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact