Carrie Fisher, the actress best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, has passed away at age 60. She has also written books in addition to acting.
She suffered from bipolar disorder and was an advocate for mental health. She wrote of her experience in a home with famous parents in her first book, Postcards from the Edge. She treated her bipolar disorder with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She took LSD, alcohol, cocaine, and Percodan.
She was diagnosed bipolar in her 20s. In her last column, Ask Carrie Fisher, she was advising a 20-something named Alex about living bipolar. She said:
"You’re lucky to have been diagnosed as bipolar and accepted that diagnosis at such a young age. I was told that I was bipolar when I was 24 but was unable to accept that diagnosis until I was 28 when I overdosed and finally got sober. Only then was I able to see nothing else could explain away my behavior."
Carrie Fisher was fighting the stigma back before it was cool. Here is one quote:
”Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
It is very hard to live with a mental illness. It is a constant fight with your mind everday. It is because of people like Fisher that we are able to talk about it today. She was an amazing, strong woman and she will be missed.