Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Carrie Fisher on Oprah

In case you missed it, Carrie Fisher appeared on Oprah today. I have to share I was impressed with her openness about her mental illness. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s after a mental breakdown that led to a week stay in a psychiatric ward. Along with many details, I really appreciated her disclosure on her treatment with electroconvulsive therapy, letting people know that it isn’t like the scene from the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Instead, she shared that it really helped her mind become clear, changing it from the cement-like state that even medication couldn’t help.

I think it’s brave of individuals like her that are willing to speak out about their personal experience, helping to break the stigma of mental illness or at least uncover some of the misconceptions the public has about it. From our personal standpoint, my son, who’s been a fan of Star Wars from the age of 5, got a huge kick out of learning that Princess Leia has a brain illness like he does. He responded with, “Wow, lots of famous people have it!”

As for me, I was moved by her mother’s comment about being worried about her daughter’s mental illness and who would protect her when she was gone. I too think about this, but I never imagined having these thoughts so many years later, I guess as moms we’ll always be worried about our kids and their illness, no matter how old they are.

For those of you that saw the interview, what did you think?

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If you missed it, you can get more details here:

For the entire interview:

Carrie Fisher “Strikes back” at mental illness:

Book excerpt where she discusses electroconvulsive therapy starting on page 4:

Video Source:
Uploaded on YouTube by  on Feb 11, 2011

1 comment:

  1. I saw it, too! Thought both Carrie and her mom were pretty candid about her illness. Like you, I was especially moved by Debbie Reynold's fears of what will happen to Carrie when she's not around to help her. Brought tears to my eyes, which I guess is to be expected as a fellow mom of a child with a mood disorder. I also appreciated Carrie talking about electro convulsive therapy-my dad had it back in the days when it probably WAS more like what was depicted in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." But today it seems to be a good option for people who can't get relief from medication for severe depression.