One Of Carrie Fisher’s Final Acts Was To Help This Young Woman Struggling With Bipolar Disorder

Photo: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/REX/Shutterstock.
Carrie Fisher was not only an actress but also a mental health advocate. She spoke openly about what it was like to live with bipolar disorder, which affects 2.5% of Americans. So, it's fitting that one of the last things she did before she died was to write a letter advising a woman with the same condition. Fisher, best known for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars, had an advice column in The Guardian. It was well deserved, given all the wisdom she offered us in interviews. For the latest, someone wrote, "trying to deal with my mental illness and meet all of my responsibilities at school, work and home feels like a terrible balancing act. Some days I juggle everything better than others, and sometimes I let everything drop. It feels like only a matter of time until the things that I drop shatter irreparably. Have you found a way to feel at peace when even your brain seesaws constantly?" She suggested joining a support group and embracing the uncomfortable emotions it might bring up. "We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges," she wrote. "Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic – not “I survived living in Mosul during an attack” heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community — however small — of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities." In light of her death, the way she closes the letter will give you chills: "Move through those feelings and meet me on the other side. As your bipolar sister, I’ll be watching."

More from Mind

R29 Original Series