Carrie Fisher, Dead at Age 60

Philip Hickey, PhD
49
15978

Actress Carrie Fisher died on December 27, 2016, at the early age of 60.

In a 2001 article on Healthy Place, she was described as “Perhaps one of manic-depression’s best-known champions…”

Here’s another quote from the same article:

“I’m fine, but I’m bipolar. I’m on seven medications, and I take medication three times a day. This constantly puts me in touch with the illness I have. I’m never quite allowed to be free of that for a day. It’s like being a diabetic.”

Psychiatry’s Modus Operandi

First they sell you the “illness” that they’ve invented.

Then they sell you the drugs to “treat” the “illness.”

Then they sell you more drugs to counteract the adverse effects.

Then they sell you electric shocks to the brain.

Then you die prematurely.

Then they wring their hands in mock anguish, and say what a terrible illness this is, and that without their “safe and effective treatments”, you would have died a lot sooner.

Psychiatry is not Medicine

Psychiatry is irredeemably flawed and rotten.  There is truly no human problem that psychiatry does not make ten times worse.  How much longer must this carnage continue?  How many more lives will be ruined?  Where is their sense of decency?  And where is general medicine’s sense of outrage?

To what excesses of spin, venality, corruption, and destruction does psychiatry need to descend before decent doctors everywhere will speak out, and denounce this murderous hoax?  Psychiatry has long since forfeited any right it might ever have had to be considered a medical specialty.

Incidentally

In September 2011, The European Heart Journal published Honkola, J., Hookana, E., et al Psychotropic medications and the risk of sudden cardiac death during an acute coronary event.  Here’s the conclusion:

“The use of psychotropic drugs, especially combined use of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, is strongly associated with an increased risk of SCD at the time of an acute coronary event.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On April 20, 2013, the Sarasota Herald Tribune published Carrie Fisher talks about mental illness and career.  The article is an interview conducted by Elizabeth Johnson.  Here are two quotes:

“Q: Is there anything specific that causes a manic state?

A: When I was doing drugs, what caused it was stopping. I’d just get thrown off. Sleep deprivation, hurting your sleep cycle in general can be a problem. If I knew whatever it was, I would do better than I do, but I do very well.

Q: What treatment are you on now?

A: I take ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) and lots of medication.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Q: What drugs were you using before that diagnosis [bipolar]?

A: Anything that you had. I smoked pot first when I was 13, but I really didn’t get heavily into that. I never could take alcohol. I always said I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s actually a definition to alcoholism — an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. So I didn’t do other kinds of drugs until I was about 20. Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”

Support MIA

Enjoyed what you just read? Consider a donation to help us continue to produce content, provide up-to-date research news, offer continuing education courses, and continue building a community for exploring alternatives to the current paradigm of mental health. All donations are tax deductible.

$
Select Payment Method
Loading...
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $20.00

49 COMMENTS

  1. It’s curious that Carrie Fisher’s diagnosis starts with recreational drug usage. I think this is often the case among the privileged elite. We will never be able to say whether it is the roller-coaster ride of drug addiction, or the roller-coaster ride of the bipolar label, that most gets them off. Once they’ve got the label, even their recreational drug use has an excuse. One can’t simply claim to have made a series of bad life choices. Treatment itself, in today’s clime, is merely the exchange of one addiction for another. What both behaviors represent is a way around personal accountability. Take personal responsibility for one’s actions, well, that’s not a matter likely to end in death. Anyway, it’s something to think about. I’d think that there would be better causes to champion than that of manic-depressive psychosis, or even diabetes for that matter, but then I guess my biases run in favor health and wisdom a little bit more than the biases of certain other people.

  2. I was diagnosed as bipolar 25 years ago.. I’ve taken my meds consistently since then. I live a happy healthy life. I’m active, obviously not prematurely dead, and never been hospitalized. I’ve been married to the same man for 33 years. Until we moved to our horse farm in the country, I was consistently employed. I worked as a veterinary technician for 12 years and was good at it. I ultimately burned out, but that can happen no matter what.

    I see my shrink 3 times a year for refills. I see my primary care physician once a year because I have to. I’ve had a lot of broken bones and a couple of major concussions, so I’ve had more than my share of surgeries. Nothing for the broken ribs and collapsed lung one year…..you don’t surgically repair ribs. When I broke more ribs and got a pneumothorax the next year, I didn’t bother going to the ER because I didn’t want a chest tube. I hated to “give up” and not ride that particular horse, but it appears she problems of her own and is dangerous. (She’s now a pet.) My orthopedic surgeons should each name a room after me.

    Nope, I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict. Yes, I’ve taken my share of painkillers.

    I’m not traumatized by my accidents and ride at least twice a week. Just not the horse that hurt me.

    By your reckoning, I should have led a miserable, tortured life and possibly be dead by now.

    Horse people are a special kind of crazy. We get crushed, broken, concussed, and injured in more ways you can imagine. The second we can, we’re back up on the horse that almost killed us in the first place because without our horses, there is no life.

    • Just because you get diagnosed with a so called disorder doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. You are probably no longer “bipolar” and got used to your meds (which I wonder about in terms of dose and what it is – maybe a placebo). Your horses and a good partner are all that you needed to be functional.. something was amiss and you didn’t look for what it might have been. No it was not a chemical imbalance that required a pill to correct. Sadly, due to ignorance, you just took the pill like a good girl. Get off of them if anything, slowly of course depending on situation. Diet and your environment are what is important.

      • Most psychiatrists know nothing about withdrawal from psychiatric drugs because they have never tried it themselves (many of them have been prescribed the drugs by their superiors) or tried to guide a patient through it.

        I tried several times to withdraw from Haldol with my doctor’s cautious approval. He had me go down to the 2mg pill once a day and then stop. I always had the same “bounce back” and “symptoms” which provoked the old “See, this is what happens when you don’t take your medication!” mantra from doctor, friends and family.

        Finally, with the added support of an orthomolecular program, I ground the pill to a powder and took only a few grains each day, then every other day, then every few days. When I finally did stop, I did not sleep for a week. I felt good though and knew I was free of psych drugs forever.

        When I informed my eminent psychiatrist how I did it, he was furious because I had disregarded his instructions and soon declared that I had had a spontaneous remission from the schizo-affective disorder and refused to make any more appointments with me. He later rose to presidency of the APA.

        • bad mechanics, dangerous politicians and quack docs. see the common thread? people are not created equall either ethicaly or intellectually. A bad mechanc does not prove rodds don’t get burned or rings bipass raw gas to the oil. A marcos or a pol pot does not mean we should all live spearate clansperson lives. a rapist gynecologist does not put the lie to theories of uterine cancer or other diseases made up just for their purient interrests.
          There are courtss for remedy against those docs. I have read several “standard of cars” suits just this week.

  3. Looks like Phil’s piece is getting lost in the shuffle of Fisher articles, but I appreciate the concise summation of the issue and the moral clarity; I have shared this as well as the other articles, since many only pay attention to stories involving “name brand” people.

  4. We strongly disagree with this article, which neglects a lot of important information and uses selective hearing to distort what Carrie Fisher was about and also to distort the evidence for mental illness as a real disorder.

    Mental illnesses have a long history of biological evidence. For example, researchers have demonstrated that people with depression have an overactive area of the brain, called Brodmann area 25. Szchizophrenia has been linked to specific genes, as PTSD and autism have been linked to specific brain abnormalities. Suicide has been linked to a decreased concentration of serotonin in the brain. OCD has been linked to increased
    activity in the basal ganglia region of the brain.

    Eric Kandel, MD, a Nobel Prize laureate and professor of brain science at Columbia University, says, “All mental processes are brain processes, and therefore all disorders of mental functioning are biological diseases…The brain is the organ of the mind. Where else could [mental illness] be if not in the brain?”

    You’re right that mental illness is also affected by social and environmental conditions–by a person’s disposition, or upbringing, or current environment. It’s also true that mental illness is affected by drug use (both prescribed and not prescribed). So are other medical conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. And it’s true that mental illness is often difficult to diagnose because of
    1) the current limitations of the field of research. Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, for example, talks about how the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness today is where cardiology was 100 years ago, concluding that we need to continue scientific research of mental illnesses. ( There’s a longer quote on this below.)
    and
    2) mental illness symptoms often overlap with symptoms caused by other illnesses, for example, someone with cancer may also become depressed after diagnosis. Or someone’s fatigue may be caused by a vitamin deficiency, rather than by depression.

    While considering all these factors, it is still completely inaccurate to state that there is no biological foundation for mental illnesses. They are not “make-believe” diseases, but rather are caused by a variety of factors, including biological ones. As we understand more about mental illness through research we will (as we have with cardiology, for example) gain more precise vehicles for measuring and understanding the biological implications of these disorders.

    Longer aforementioned quote:
    Take cardiology, Insel says. A century ago, doctors had little knowledge of the biological basis of heart disease. They could merely observe a patient’s physical presentation and listen to the patient’s subjective complaints. Today they can measure cholesterol levels, examine the heart’s electrical impulses with EKG, and take detailed CT images of blood vessels and arteries to deliver a precise diagnosis. As a result, Insel says, mortality from heart attacks has dropped dramatically in recent decades. “In most areas of medicine, we now have a whole toolkit to help us know what’s going on, from the behavioral level to the molecular level. That has really led to enormous changes in most areas of medicine,” he says.
    Insel believes the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness is today where cardiology was 100 years ago. And like cardiology of yesteryear, the field is poised for dramatic transformation, he says. “We are really at the cusp of a revolution in the way we think about the brain and behavior, partly because of technological breakthroughs. We’re finally able to answer some of the fundamental questions.”

    • A nice glass of Kool Aid made with water from the psycho-babbling brook? Thanks but no thanks. Like many others here, I am sure, I tried swallowing that poison and barely escaped with my life. To quote the recently deceased Richard Cohen.
      “You can stick your little pins in that Voodoo doll, but I’m very sorry mister, they don’t hurt me at all.”

    • Regarding the Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare comment, it’s important to keep in mind some factors when evaluating their opinion:

      1) Thomas Insel in fact admitted that the great weakness of current diagnoses including bipolar is their “lack of validity.” Other leading American psychiatrists have said similar things, including Allen Frances (“There is no definition of a mental disorder – it’s bullshit”), David Kupfer (“biomarkers for mental illnesses remain disappointingly distant), and Steven Hyman (“psychiatric diagnoses seem arbitrary and lack objective tests”).

      Biological factors may contribute to severe distress, and all severe distress is expressed in our brain chemistry, since the brain is an organ for processing and responding to the environment. That in no way means that labels like “bipolar” are valid when considered as discrete illness entities, especially when considered as discrete entities supposedly caused by malfunctioning brain chemistry or genes. There is no good evidence of a primarily biogenetic cause – rather than a biogenetic expression/correlation – of these problems. One wonders if the Carolina Healthcare commenters has studied epigenetics and has a clear understanding of the difference between correlation and causation.

      The following statement from the Carolina Healthcare Partners illustrates the weakness of their approach:

      “Mental illnesses have a long history of biological evidence. For example, researchers have demonstrated that people with depression have an overactive area of the brain, called Brodmann area 25. Szchizophrenia has been linked to specific genes, as PTSD and autism have been linked to specific brain abnormalities. Suicide has been linked to a decreased concentration of serotonin in the brain. OCD has been linked to increased
      activity in the basal ganglia region of the brain.”

      Firstly, none of these categories are well-established disease entities like Huntington’s or diabetes. So all of these statements are based on assuming a conclusion (that the applied labels are valid without biomarkers) in one sense. And the question is, biological evidence of what? Correlation is not causation. The cumulative effects of stress, whether psychosocial and/or biological, do not permit the assumption that discrete “illnesses” called major depression and “schizophrenia” exist as valid illness entities. That does not mean the distress is not real, of course. But in this statement, Carolina Healthcare Partners committed the classic psychiatric fallacy of assuming their conclusion – assuming in this case, that differences in brain chemistry of certain labeled people within a quasi experimental study proves the existence or validity of psychiatric disorders. Reality doesn’t work that way, guys…

      So, expressing the “foundation” of biological expression for serious distress is quite fine – if one doesn’t misinterpret foundation simplistically to mean cause – but imagining that discrete diagnoses can be made out of quasi-experimental studies of distressed people in different settings is quite another.

      Also, to refute another misconception from this comment, the vague concept “schizophrenia” has been linked to hundreds of genes, and getting this label is far more strongly linked to poverty, trauma, neglect, and abuse than to any gene, as discussed below. Perhaps the Carolina Healthcare Partners would like to address this?

      https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/09/rejecting-the-medications-for-schizophrenia-narrative-a-survivors-response-to-pies-and-whitaker/

      We have to remember that mental illness labels are just that – subjective labels given to a person, not illnesses they are known to have by any known biomarkers.

      • To quote another notable casualty of the “frustrating mess” of bipolar disorder, then called manic-depression, Jimi Hendrix.
        “Are you experienced?”
        My own eight year, near-death experience with, and thirty-some year retaliation against biological psychiatry taught me this. The horror continues because the establishment “therapy” business is an obscene, self-destructive slam dance that psychiatrists and their mostly-willing “clients” do together.

        Try to break up this dance and here is what you will find. Psychiatrists are very well-paid, and in all but the most egregious crimes against their clients are relieved of any responsibility for their actions. “First do no harm.” does not apply to them.

        Clients as well are not held responsible for their actions by reason of their mythical “mental illnesses”, and neither are the cultures that groomed those clients during their formative years. Many enjoy freedom from poverty for the first time with a subsistence income from disability (and the drugs are truly disabling) payments.

        • Jimi Hendrix was never diagnosed “manic-depressive”, not during his lifetime anyway, and I think that it’s a pity that he isn’t around to defend himself from those who would diagnose him after the fact.

          Yes, he did write a song called Manic Depression, but it was a song, not a confession.

          • I have to disagree. I was seen by Jimi Hendrix’s former psychiatrist several times, Dr. Kase, at the Benjamin Rush Institute of Philadelphia Hospital. He was supposedly one of the world’s foremost experts on lithium therapy. I was still naive, but the doctor had treated two other notable and diseased rock stars, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. That track record did not impress me so I moved on.

            I was very fortunate to see Jimi Hendrix in concert in Honolulu just a few weeks before he went to England where he died. Dr Walt in Seattle may be able to offer some more information. Jimi Hendrix was from Seattle.

          • Respectfully, yeah, we disagree. I’ve seen reports of Jimi’s problems as a youth, but nothing that stated for a fact that he was diagnosed “bipolar”. If you know otherwise, enlighten me. I know he’s second down from Beethoven at the Five Musicians Who Suffered From Bipolar Disorder webpage, but I think it’s bunk to call Beethoven “bipolar” as well.

            http://myfivebest.com/five-musicians-who-suffered-from-bipolar-disorder/

            When I was in college, Schumann was mentioned as a possible “bipolar/manic depressive” “sufferer” candidate of a musician. I’ve also seen it suggested that Schumann may have had syphilis, another big “mental disorder” of unknown origin way back when. Anybody up for an autopsy?

            I’m actually quite happy to hear when anybody who has been diagnosed as having “bipolar disorder” undiagnoses themselves. I don’t think psychiatry has all the answers and, in fact, I think in many instances (witness the high mortality rates for people in long term drug treatment) psychiatry is the root cause of a slew of very real problems.

          • I did some searching but can’t come up with anything on Dr. Kase. I think his first name was William, and it was at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, which closed in 1997. I was working for a government contractor in nuke weapons at the time (mid-1970s).

            In 1968, lithium (lithium hydroxide) actually saved the lives of the crew on the old diesel boat I was on. When we could not surface or snorkel after being discovered at a yacht club where we not members, the lithium hydroxide from sealed one gallon GI cans was spread on the bunks whee it absorbed CO2 and turned to LiCO (the “medication”) and water, H2O. Lithium Hydroxide is a very dangerous toxin and caused respiratory irritation before it turned to a moist mush.

            When I was first prescribed lithium, I told the doctor about this exposure, but he was not interested and neither were the numerous other psychiatrists I encountered in the next eight years. One even wrote in my records that I was under the delusion that lithium pills were spread on my bunk on the submarine.

            Fortunately some co-workers were curious when they saw my severe tremors and when I told them they were lithium shakes, they said the doctor who gave me that stuff must have his head up his ass. Lithium is an atomic bomb element, and they knew all about it. They said to look it up in the Toxic Substances Act, and I did. One also suggested I get a tissue mineral analysis from Analytical Research Labs which was doing security clearances for the National Nuke Labs, and I did. From the lab I learned about orthomolecular therapy and the work of Drs. Hoffer, Smythies, Osmond, Pauling, Pfeiffer, Eck et al. who were my deliverance from the biological psychiatry scam.

            The lithium/manic-depression scam is quite simple. Lithium, a toxin in any amount, is chemically similar to potassium, an essential found in every cell of the body. If an individual has a severe potassium deficiency, often accompanied by an inversion of the normal sodium/potassium ratio, “mood swings” can result.

            Prior to Cade’s discovery of lithium therapy for manic- depression in Australia (a very bad place to be diagnosed with “mental illness I hear) in the 1960s, the compound potassium bromide was the drug of choice for the disorder, and it worked quite well except for bromine toxicity. All “The Old Bromides” were abandoned during that same era, and the chelated mineral supplements we had by the late 1970s were not yet available. They would be non-prescription in any case and not of interest to APA-type psychopharmachologists.

            Lithium was perfect. It quieted down those pesky mood swings and creative outbursts, but it was also dangerous and required regular (read lifetime) monitoring with blood work. If the patients were still unruly, and most were, an anti-psychotic like Thorazine or Haldol could be added to the mix, and new diagnoses like schizo-affective disorder created to describe the horror which resulted from substituting a toxin for an essential element.

      • Lots of people are still in the system. And most of the people who have lived the hardest of lives are merely the survivors of familial child abuse. But this is kept hidden because Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, and the Recovery Movement are designed to make people believe that it is they who are the problem.

        What you read on this board is just talk, regrettably. When you start seeing parents getting sued and doctors getting prosecuted for Crimes Against Humanity, now that will be a different situation.

        Nomadic

  5. It’s really interesting to me that the articles about Carrie Fisher’s death have attracted more of the defenders of the system than I’ve seen since I’ve been at MIA. I wonder what that’s all about? I always felt badly for Ms. Fisher when I would see her being interviewed on television. It was so apparent that she was often drugged to the gills with the psych drugs; I often wondered how she kept navigating through it all. I admired her for that but I did not admire her when she chose to be the poster child for the system.

    • Look at the experience of actress Margot Kidder. Her Hollywood mood swings were hot news at the time, but when she made a drug-free recovery with Dr. Abram Hoffer in Canada, the corrupt media had nothing to say. When she tried to advocate for others scammed by the biological psychiatry racket, she was relentlessly demonized. I posted on her website years ago when she first put it up under my own name and triggered a vitriolic campaign against me including numerous hack and crack attempts on my computer which originated in Australia. A former nuke-spook, I run a secure Linux system that the script kiddies could not penetrate, but I learned my lesson and always used a nom de guerre after that.

  6. Thanks, as always, for putting it succinctly and honestly, Philip.

    As to, “where is general medicine’s sense of outrage? To what excesses of spin, venality, corruption, and destruction does psychiatry need to descend before decent doctors everywhere will speak out, and denounce this murderous hoax?” Unfortunately, “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions” is that historically the psychiatric industry has been in the business of covering up easily recognized iatrogenesis for the incompetent mainstream doctors, and the “zipper troubles” of the religions, for decades. The mainstream medical community does not want to give up this “dirty little secret” way of proactively preventing legitimate malpractice suits.

    And as to the fact today’s psychiatric industry’s “bipolar” drug cocktail recommendations do advocate for combining the antidepressants and antipsychotics, I’d like to point out that the medical community should know this is unwise, since it can create “psychosis” via anticholinergic toxidrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

    In addition to being “strongly associated with an increased risk of SCD at the time of an acute coronary event.”

  7. So Carrie Fisher’s ashes were placed in a giant PROZAC pill??Her family thought it would be humorous and fitting since this pill was seemingly one of her Favorite things and she was a mental health advocate….is it just me or is this creepy given that psych drugs likely contributed to her premature demise? The people at Pfizer must be pleased at the free advertising…

  8. I don’t think the Prozac pill urn likely to start a trend. However, for a convert to the religion of corporate psycho-technology, I’ve got to hope that posthumously the author of Shockaholic continues to remain something of anomaly. A Big Pharma-Land, if established, would likely drive many more people into the clutches of habitual use and addiction as well as iatrogenically produced physical disability. Things, to my way of thinking, we could use a little less of, rather than more, in the interests of protecting, maintaining, and defending good health.

  9. It’s interesting to me that the supposed diagnosis of Bi-polar was somewhat rare, not nearly as rampant as today, before the advent of and acceptance of the SSRI’s. People often got through it and went on wither their lives, again, unlike today. Kind of makes me wonder………………….

  10. I left Fisher’s New York performance of Wishful Drinking in dismayed agitation. Fisher’s show had wit and talent, of course. But it felt like the emotional habits of the long-time psych victim, her medications, her electroshock and her 12 “shrinks.” As an audience member I felt like one of them. Though perhaps my projections, I felt in this show the psych patient’s labors to please and gratify the provider by having the most miserable, neediest stories. It was the “I’m so screwed up” bake-off.

    The show I saw –at 1/2 hour over promised running time– wasn’t as tight as the HBO version, and maybe she was off her game that day. But I was very disturbed by, not her life itself, but by her apparent addiction to the mental health industry.

    I certainly respect her intellect, talent, and understand she was loyal and lovely to family and friends. But I had a disturbing response to her presence that stays with me years later. Maybe it felt like witnessing someone drown.