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UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Ruby Wax, 64, answers our health quiz  

Inheritance: Ruby Wax has suffered mental health issues which run in her family

CAN YOU RUN UP THE STAIRS?

I can run up and down the stairs faster than my children can. I need to keep fit to do my shows. I do Pilates three times a week otherwise I’d look like a mushroom. I use an app to do the workouts at home as well as seeing a teacher.

GET YOUR FIVE A DAY?

Yes, I’m on the Paleo diet, so, I eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. If it’s green, it’s good. But I don’t always trust the word ‘organic’. Those foods are too expensive. It’s like eating the Prada of the food world.

EVER DIETED?

Yes, every diet known to man. I went on a grapefruit diet 20 years ago and ended up in hospital. A few years ago, I just juiced and felt sick for a week. On the Paleo diet, I eat everything that once had a pulse.    

ANY FAMILY AILMENTS?

Yes, mental illness. My great grandmother and great aunt suffered from mental illness, or ‘agitation’, as it was called and ended up in psychiatric hospitals. When I was younger I didn’t realise my parents had mental health issues caused by their experiences during World War II. They were émigrés who fled the Nazis.

WORST ILLNESS?

I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life. I manage it with medication (I’ve been taking antidepressant medication for 20 years and dare not stop) and mindfulness. The depression led me to set up Frazzled cafes — free meetings (at Marks & Spencer cafes) for people who feel overwhelmed. Each meeting has about 15 to 25 people and is led by a facilitator. You also get free tea and cookies.

EVER HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY?

Yes, but only for my career. Appearance counts when you’re on TV. Otherwise, I’d think it stupid.

COPE WELL WITH PAIN?

I’m tough, really tough and I don’t have a lot of pain. But, if I did, I’d hit the medication pretty quick. I’m not one for sitting it out.

Looking good: The performer has also admitted to undergoing cosmetic surgery 

Looking good: The performer has also admitted to undergoing cosmetic surgery 

TRIED ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE?

Yes, it’s fabulous material for my shows. I’ve tried acupuncture, herbs, flower essences and healing. I’ve also done rebirthing where they put me in a bath tub and shouted at me to go through my own birth. 

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?

Not much. I sleep a lot, usually about ten hours. I believe sleep is the cure to a lot of distress.

ANY PHOBIAS?

flying. It’s getting better, but if there’s bad turbulence you’ll find me on the ceiling.

LIKE TO LIVE FOREVER?

Yes, I don’t believe we come back and I want to carry on learning.

ANY VICES?

I work really hard — but I enjoy it.

HANGOVER CURE?

I don’t really drink, so I’d just say, get a blood transfusion.   

How To Be Human: The Manual, is published by Penguin Life at £14.99. Find out more about Ruby’s Frazzled tour rubywax.net/tour.html

 



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