Not only did she play a princess, but Carrie Fisher was a princess.
The Hollywood actress is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movies. But more important than her careers in acting and writing, Carrie Fisher absolutely slayed the stigma when it came to opening up about her struggles with mental health.
Fisher was unbelievably open about her bipolar disorder diagnosis—especially during a time when such a taboo discussion was a rarity in Hollywood. She battled addictions with cocaine and prescription medications, both of which were often heightened with the combination of her bipolar disorder. Much of her autobiographical writing focused on how those struggles shaped her as a person.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2000, Fisher spoke openly about her bipolar diagnosis and how it informed her drug addiction.
“I thought they told me I was manic depressive to make me feel better about being a drug addict,” she said. “If you could just control yourself, you had an indulged childhood, you were a child of privilege—I don’t know, that’s what I thought. You’re just a drug addict.”
Carrie Fisher’s legacy is sure to live on both as princess Leia as well as Princess of breaking barriers.
”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.”
She entertained and educated millions, reminding everyone just how strong you have to be to deal with a mental health condition.
“At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage. So if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it is something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”
May the force forever be with you, Carrie.