This is an older article but I thought it was so good I wanted to post it on the site.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
By ELIZABETH JOHNSON
Actor, writer and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher (“Star Wars,” “Family Guy,” “When Harry Met Sally”) was in Sarasota Saturday for “An Afternoon with Carrie Fisher” for the Mental Health Community Centers. The event was sponsored by the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and underwritten by The Isermann Family Foundation. Fisher, who has bipolar disorder, met with Herald-Tribune Staff Writer Elizabeth Johnson to discuss mental illness, drug addiction and “Star Wars.”
Q: What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 29?
A: I was a very drug-interested person, so it was sort of chaotic, but not entirely. I actually was diagnosed — they tried to diagnose me at 24 — and I just got mad because I thought the shrink didn’t want to treat me, so he just told me I had this thing. Anyway, you cannot diagnose someone who is actively doing drugs or alcohol. Because if you’re doing drugs or alcohol in an abusive way, you’re going to seem bipolar.
Q: What was it like to be diagnosed?
A: It was after I was a year sober. I was not going to go. I got sober and then I came in with a bunch of people so we all hung out. They calmed down, and I went in the other direction. When I got sober, I thought, “Well, that’s it. I’m an alcoholic or an addict, so that’s what’s wrong with me. I don’t need therapy.” A year later, when I was going to have to turn myself into the brain police, I was not happy.
Carrie Fisher with her therapy dog, Gary.
Q: What drugs were you using before that diagnosis?