Nov 16

Carrie Fisher: “Shockaholic”

Carrie Fisher’s new book, Shockaholic, became available a couple weeks ago. A recent review by Will Durst states the following:

In her new book, “Shockaholic,” Hollywood’s new poor little rich girl – acknowledging an insatiable fascination with herself – continues her tour down the rabbit hole of Crazy Town, sparking us through brightly lit secret corridors while twisting self-deprecation into an art form.

Durst adds that “Chapter 2 is a love letter to electroconvulsive therapy,” while the rest of the book covers various other topics, including her adventures with certain pop culture figures such as Michael Jackson and her difficult relationship with her famous father.

Watch this clip below from The Today Show if you’re interested in hearing Fisher offer little tidbits on addictions, aging, her Hollywood-legend parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher), memory, bipolar depression, and oh yeah, her take on electroconvulsive therapy without the convulsing (she calls it “ET” instead of ECT):

Update: Unfortunately, this video was pulled from YouTube.

Oct 07

Carrie Fisher: Fearless In The Face Of Mental Health Stigma

Writer and actress Carrie Fisher has not been one to shy away from disclosing—to the world—her various mental health and substance abuse issues. In fact, by writing and speaking out candidly about her struggles, she has stared down the threat of mental health stigma and has won.

Her first novel was the semi-autobiographical Postcards From the Edge (1987) in which the main character, Suzanne, is addicted to drugs. One of her most memorable quotes: “Instant gratification takes too long.” Despite this attitude, Suzanne does eventually wind up in treatment and on the road to recovery.

By the way, the movie adaptation (1990), available on DVD, features Meryl Streep as Suzanne and Shirley MacLaine as her famous-actress mom with an affinity for both booze and the spotlight.

While promoting her 2008 book, Wishful Drinking, Fisher spoke with Matt Lauer on The Today Show. Below is a brief clip (unfortunately a bit out of sync) in which she addresses her lack of fear of mental health stigma. Please note: although it may appear that she has no legs, they’re just tucked underneath her.

Fisher has performed her one-woman show of the same title in various U.S. cities, including on Broadway in New York. She’s currently, in fact, on stage in Chicago through October 16th. (The filmed version of the show, which has aired on HBO, has been available on DVD since 2010.)

Hot off the presses, a review in The Chicago Tribune states:

…the real strength of this piece is how well Fisher’s personal stories speak to greater societal and existential truths. ‘Wishful Drinking’ is intended to be fun, and indeed it is, but the real nut of the night is this: ‘If you claim something, it has less power over you…’

The following video clip, representing different parts of her show, illustrates Fisher’s unique approach to her own serious mental health issues:

Although in Wishful Drinking Fisher has already publicly aired her use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), her soon-to-be-released book Shockaholic apparently delves even deeper into this. From the product description on Amazon:

…the electro-convulsive shock therapy she’s been regularly undergoing is threatening to wipe out (what’s left of) her memory.

But get ready for a shock of your own. Not only doesn’t she mind paying the second electric bill, but she loves the high-voltage treatments.

Hence, the implication in the title that ECT may now qualify as her most—brace yourself for another pun intended—“current” addiction.