Wellness

Why This Comedian Hid Her Depression From The World

11/06/2014 04:00pm ET | Updated November 6, 2014

Mental illness affects one out of every four people -- comedian Ruby Wax being one of them. Due to fear of stigma, she felt the need to keep her depression a secret from the public for as long as possible. Wax joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss why she hid it from the world.

"I had depression, and I would never tell anybody," said Wax. "Of course, in those days, they didn't call it depression. Like with my mother, they said, 'She's having a change of life,' and I said, 'Yeah, for the last 87 years.' In my time, they didn't know what it was, either. So when I found out -- [it was] a joyous occasion because then at least you can treat it."

She worried about losing her job due to the stigma that comes along with such diagnoses, but ultimately turned it into something incredibly positive.

"I wanted to learn about how the mind works," she said. "I also didn't want to have any more depressions, or at least nullify them. I don't have time for sitting on a chair for three months, so I decided I'd go to Oxford (because I have the drive of a Rottweiler) and study how the brain works. When I left Oxford, I used my dissertation to write this book, 'Sane New World.'"

To hear more about Wax's experiences with depression and new book, watch the full HuffPost Live clip in the video above.

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