The passing of Carrie Fisher earlier this year has been very heartbreaking for a lot of people. Whether or not you knew her name, you probably knew Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher not only set an example for young girls to be nerdy space princesses and break the mold of the “pink princess,” she was also an advocate for mental health. She herself was diagnosed with substance use disorder and bipolar disorder and she did not keep it a secret. She spoke up about her mental health and stood up against the stigma behind it.
Fisher stated, “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.” The power that she took back from the stigma behind her diagnoses is huge and so empowering for others who can relate to her. So often people with a mental health condition can feel so isolated and alone because they are afraid to tell others about it for fear of being judged or ridiculed for it. To have a celebrity speak up and own her mental disorder sets an example for others to know it can be okay by advocating for others to seek help, “the only lesson for me, or for anybody, is that you have to get help. It’s not a neat illness. It doesn’t go away.”
Thank you, Carrie Fisher. We will remember you and your fierce fight in this galactic world and others.