Today, everyone woke up to the sad news of the actress Carrie Fisher passing. She was known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. She was 60 and even made headlines a few months back owing to exposing her cheeky affair with co-star Harrison Ford.
While many know her for her iconic role, she also gained a strong following after she openly spoke up about her struggles with bipolar disorder. People battling with their own mental health issues will remember Fisher as a champion for those who she has helped.
Carrie Fisher struggled with bipolar disorder, addiction
Teen Vogue reports that Fisher was interviewed by Diane Sawyer a few years back revealing how she was diagnosed.
“I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital. I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on,” Fisher said.
Fisher was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 24, but did not “come to accept” her diagnosis until five years later. In fact, she even “blames” her denial on her battles at the time with addiction to cocaine throughout the early 80s.
carrie fisher's words about bipolar disorder have helped me at some of the darkest moments of my life. she will always be a hero to me. pic.twitter.com/HFtu0hKvJp
— recovery jorts (@valiantarmor) December 27, 2016
Carrie Fisher bipolar: A ‘bright light’ for those with mental health illnesses
In her last Ask Carrie Fisher advice column published last Nov. 30 in The Guardian, she responded to a question about bipolar disorder. Someone named Alex sent her the question: “Have you found a way to feel at peace even when your brain seesaws constantly? I can’t see very far down the line from here and I hope that you can give me some insight.”
Fisher responded, saying: “We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic; an emotional survival”
“It’s important to find a community — however small — of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities,” she added.
Her compassion and honesty gave many people hope, as she also wrote about her struggles in several books. Her bestseller Postcards from the Edge even revealed how she underwent electroconvulsive therapy for her depression.
Many Hollywood stars mourned her passing. But a lot more expressed how grateful they were for Fisher’s bravery in speaking out about mental illness.
Daisy Ridley on Carrie Fisher: 'Devastated at This Monumental Loss' pic.twitter.com/BcjxA033kg
— stardust (@tolkienianjedi) December 28, 2016