7 Compelling Carrie Fisher Quotes About Mental Health That We All Need To Hear

There’s nothing “good” to come out of celebrity deaths but over the festive period we’ve seen George Michael, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds pass away. In the hours and days after their deaths, we’ve had an influx of stories regarding their charitable acts and how their fought their personal battles with pride. No other person has battled mental illness and fought so strongly than Carrie Fisher.

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I was not a Star Wars fan but I was a fan of anyone who spoke the truth about the painful, deliberating, torturous and often funny side of living with mental illness. As well as prolific substance abuse, Carrie lived with bipolar and kicked it well and truly in the balls.

Here are 7 quotes by the late actress which will continue to inspire me:

“Without medication I would not be able to function in this world. Medication has made me a good mother, a good friend, a good daughter.”

If we’re breaking the stigma around mental health, we also need to break the fear around medication. Medication personally saved my life and I’d be nothing without it. But there’s still such a barrier around it. People struggle with the concept of taking something which will have an effect on their mind but it’s literally no different to taking a pill for low iron levels or a hormone issue. Carrie understood that.

“I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital.”

Following on from the comment regarding medication, Carrie’s acceptance that- in its most blunt form- mental health is a chemical imbalance is something we all sometimes need to hear. When mental health problems blight your life, it’s easy to blame yourself or those around you for your problems but it often helps to remind yourself it’s not your fault and just the way your brain is wired.

“I’m very sane about how crazy I am.”

This makes me laugh every single time.

“We treat beauty like an accomplishment, and that is insane. Everyone in L.A. says, ‘Oh, you look good,’ and you listen for them to say you’ve lost weight. It’s never ‘How are you?’ or ‘You seem happy!'”
This quote is from a recent interview with Good Housekeeping magazine and is absolutely true, both inside and outside LA. In our digital world, we’re complimented on the image and not the inside. It’s time to change that.

“The world of manic depression is a world of bad judgment calls.”

Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, mental illness is to blame for actions in your life. Understanding that can be hard- it’s taken me 14 years to do it- but it’s true. Some of the things I’ve done in life, the mistakes I’ve made, have been down to my illness and I’d never have done them otherwise. Manic depression is a bastard but the important thing is to make things right and as positive as possible when you’re feeling well and stable.

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“The only lesson for me, or anybody, is that you have to get help. It’s not a neat illness. It doesn’t go away.”
Anyone with mental health problems will get that confidence when things have been clear for a while. You’ve been feeling stable for a little longer than usual, you’re sleeping well and feeling more confidence. You think “At last! My mental illness is cured!” and then soon it comes crashing down again. Truth is, those of us who suffer from mental health problems have to accept they’ll never go away and even if we go years without any bad experiences, it’s important to acknowledge and seek help when it rears its ugly head.
“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. Better me than you”
FUCK YES! To me, this quote is everything. I want more people to be able to speak about their mental health problems this way. Tackling your own mind on a daily basis requires huge balls and we need to face the fight head on. Let’s honour Carrie’s memory and carry on surviving with determination, courage and tenacity.
Rest in peace, Carrie. You were a one-off.

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