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16 February 2011 08:07
Actress CARRIE FISHER’s mental health hit an all-time low when she no longer knew who she was after a six-day bout of insomnia 15 years ago.
The Star Wars icon was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after the breakdown, which was sparked by an allergic reaction to medication she was taking for depression, and she admits she signed in as ‘Shame’ with her left hand because she no longer realised she was right-handed.
She says, “I’d stayed awake for six days and… it isn’t possible. I was allergic to a medication so what they did was, to find out what medication it was, they took me off everything and I said to them, ‘I won’t sleep…’ And they said, ‘No one ever died from losing one night’s sleep.’
“Six night’s later, I’m still awake. I thought everything on TV was about me, which makes hard programming… and I also was getting secret messages from the movie The Young Lions… I was so gone.
“My shrink came at one point and I told her that I didn’t know if I believed in reincarnation, but if there was such a thing I was hoping to come back as her shrink. I told her that I had light coming out of my head… I didn’t know what was happening.”
Fisher admits she was relieved when she eventually arrived at the mental hospital: “When you’re in a mental hospital, it’s kind of OK – because it can’t get any worse.”
The actress made the confession during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday (15Feb11).
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Carrie Fisher struggled with depression, addiction — The Toronto Sun
By Jim Slotek, Postmedia Network
First posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 02:45 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 08:31 PM EST
Carrie Fisher. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Carrie Fisher: ‘I am sure affair revelation bugged Harrison Ford’
‘The force is dark today’; Stars react to Carrie Fisher’s death
Life was often a struggle for Carrie Fisher, the author and actress who died Tuesday at the age of 60, after finally coming to terms with – and revisiting – her Star Wars role of Princess Leia.
Fisher granted millions of Star Wars fans their wish by featuring in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as Leia, wife of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and mother of Dark Side acolyte Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
Offscreen, she reconciled late in life with her father, the ‘50s torch singer Eddie Fisher who, infamously, left her mother Debbie Reynolds for the oft-married starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Eddie Fisher died in 2010.
In 1999, I had an I/M online interview with Fisher, seeking comment on Been There, Done That, her father’s tell-all autobiography (“a slander-most” as his daughter put it).
“I’m thinking of having my DNA fumigated,” she added. At his death, however, she would call him, “an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.”
Talking about the father she seldom saw after the marriage breakup, Fisher revealed her belief that she inherited her own manic depression from Eddie. She believed he was “an untreated manic depressive,” who dealt with his problems through drugs and alcohol.
Fisher knew of what she spoke. Her own drug addiction in the ‘70s became fodder for her first novel Postcards From The Edge. (She would go on to write other novels and memoirs – the most recent of which, The Princess Diarist, made headlines with revelations of her off-screen affair with Ford during the filming of Star Wars).
Postcards From The Edge became a movie in 1990 starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine (in thinly-veiled roles based on Fisher and her mother Reynolds).
“My mother is fantastic,” Fisher told me. “Without her, I would have been raised by wolves.”
At the time we spoke, Fisher had just finished writing a script for her mother called These Old Broads. It would be made in 2001 with, ironically, Reynolds and the erstwhile “other woman” Elizabeth Taylor, as well as MacLaine.
Fisher also said she was just beginning writing her next novel, which would turn out to be the semi-autobiographical The Best Awful There Is.
She wouldn’t say at the time what it was about though. “All I can tell is you it won’t be about my father.”