Carrie Fisher Is Bipolar And She’s Fine With It

For those of us who grew up when “Star Wars” first hit the screen, it may come as a surprise to some that Carrie Fisher, a.k.a Princess Leia, has bipolar disorder. Patty Duke and Catherine Zeta Jones have also participated in making the public aware that this disease does not mean a meaningful and productive life cannot be lived.  Proper medication and behavioral changes can significantly impact the effects of having this disorder. A loving family and friends also play a large role in the outcome. This article from Forbes online written by Jane Lee notes the effort that Carrie Fisher has made to reduce the stigma associated with disorder.


Jane Lee, Forbes Staff

I write and video about fashion, fine arts and philanthropy

“In case you missed the 
Diane Sawyer special, the HBO documentary, the infamous tabloid headlines—Carrie Fisher is mentally ill. She has bipolar disorder. Has had, will have.

“People say ‘mental illness’ like it’s not a part of the body,” said Fisher over the phone a few days before the gala. And she’s right. The widespread misconception that mental illnesses and the various symptoms associated with them—depression, hallucination, erratic behavior, to name a few—are the result of personal weakness or moral failing is categorically false.The pop culture icon, perhaps the most famous to ever have worn symmetrical buns on the sides of her head, vows she won’t let the disease define her but jokes that she wins plenty of awards for it. The latest she received at last week’s Silver Hill Hospital Gala where the Star Wars actress was honored for her decades-long advocacy work on behalf of mental illness.
The truth? Mental illnesses are serious medical conditions with physiological roots, namely chemical imbalances in the brain. In other words, schizophrenia, severe depression and bipolar disorder are all diseases of the brain, just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas. Therefore, linking a person’s mental illness to intelligence or personality, for example, would be as misguided as blaming Lance Armstrong for his testicular cancer.”

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