Carrie Fisher (60), the actress who played the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars” passed away on December 27, 2016, four days after a massive heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles. The actress was being treated in the ICU of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles hospital.
Fisher had also penned many novels, the most popular one being “Wishful Thinking.” Just before the medical emergency, she was busy promoting her eighth book, an autobiography called “The Princess Diarist.”
She had confessed to her life-long battle with bipolar disorder and addiction to cocaine and prescription drugs. In 1976, she shot to fame after playing the part of Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” series. She was told to lose massive weight for the 2015 reboot, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” There are speculations about her massive heart attack being caused due to her rapid weight loss. The actress had previously revealed to have been suffering from bipolar disorder, body dysmorphia and depression.
Fisher confessed to using drugs for managing her mental disorder
Fisher had confessed that her excessive drug use in the past was a result of her mental disorder. In 2001, she had told the Psychology Today that drugs made her feel normal. In 2006, during an interview, the actress talked about how she would use Percocet to overcome her maniac episodes. In 2010, the actress confessed to taking cocaine on the sets of “Stars Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” She admitted that she did not like coke, but used it just to get high.
She also confessed to having realized that she was doing more drugs than other people. In 2011, Fisher told the US Weekly that every six weeks she underwent electroconvulsive shock therapy to “blow apart the cement in her brain.” The shock therapy further contributed to memory loss.
In a statement to the US Weekly, Harrison Ford who was Fisher’s co-star in “Star Wars,” said “Carrie was one of a kind, was brilliant, original, funny, emotional, and fearless.” According to a statement released by her daughter Billie Lourd, “Carrie was loved by the world and will be missed profoundly. She also said that their entire family thanks the world for their thoughts and prayers.”
Dual diagnosis and its treatment
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), dual diagnosis describes the simultaneous occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse problem. A person diagnosed with dual diagnosis can either experience a mental illness or a substance abuse first. As per research, though abusing drugs and alcohol worsens mental health symptoms, they can also lead to mental health problems.
Due to a variety of combinations of disorders, the symptoms of dual diagnosis vary from person to person. As per the NAMI, about half the individuals living with mental illnesses also experience substance abuse.
Individuals diagnosed with a dual diagnosis must get treatment for both the conditions. An ideal treatment for dual diagnosis is an integrated intervention program that provides care for both the problems. The treatment for dual diagnosis involves detoxification, FDA-approved medications, behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and assistance through support group programs.
Recovery is possible
While treating people with dual diagnosis, it is important to address both their mental illness and substance abuse problem simultaneously. When left untreated, there is a high chance for the untreated disorder to relapse.
If you know someone who is living with dual diagnosis, it is time to get professional help. Contact the Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know more about various dual diagnosis programs that can help treat your condition. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-981-6047 or chat online with our experts to find the top dual diagnosis rehab centers in your area that will provide the most comprehensive treatment plan customized to your needs.