More Than a Move Star: How Carrie Fisher Championed Mental Health

Carrie Fisher, daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passed away this week.  Not only was she a first-class actress in her own right, it was Fisher’s willingness to tackle difficult subjects with wit and transparency that helped transform her into a bona fide role model, especially for people afflicted with mental illness.  According to Rolling Stone, “Fisher embraced her illnesses – bipolar disorder, alcoholism, drug addiction, and “serious body dysmorphia issues” – in a way that helped normalize them. She proved that even whip-smart, cool-as-hell, impossibly funny women can end up doing a stint or two in the psych ward. They write bestsellers. They have fun.”   First diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her mid-twenties, Fisher refused to accept the diagnosis until she got sober at 28, checking herself into a 30-day rehab after a near-fatal overdose. Her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking covers everything from Fisher’s bizarre Hollywood childhood (Elizabeth Taylor was her stepmom), to her first marriage to Paul Simon, to anecdotes like waking up to find a friend dead in bed beside her. But the most fascinating aspect of that book is Fisher’s writing about why she opted to try electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a still-stigmatized though highly effective treatment for depression.   Please take a moment to read and enjoy the entire Rolling Stone article here.

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2017-01-09T20:23:40+00:00

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