It’s easy to remember actor and author Carrie Fisher as the whip-smart, frequently hilarious powerhouse she was, but we have to admit we’re sometimes guilty of forgetting that the multi-talented Fisher, who passed away in December 2016, struggled for most of her life with bipolar disorder. That’s why we love this recently released video featuring Todd Fisher, the actor’s brother, speaking candidly about his sister’s challenges and the importance of the care and support she received post-diagnosis.
Speaking as part of the Child Mind Institute’s new #MyYoungerSelf social media campaign, which features celebrities sharing their experiences about growing up with mental illness, Fisher fondly recalls his sister’s huge talents, resiliency and knack for success. “She left us with this amazing inspiration of a person that survived incredible adversity,” Fisher says. “She excelled at life in everything she put her hand to, whether it be writing or acting or even Broadway.”
But, as Fisher wisely notes, his more-famous sibling’s many successes would likely have been impossible had she not received the ongoing support and care she needed from family, friends and medical professionals. “Without the help of doctors, her family and medication, I don’t think we would have seen [her succeed],” says Fisher.
It’s a simple and straightforward message, to be sure, but for anyone with a family member or loved one struggling with mental illness, Fisher’s heartfelt words are a powerful reminder that seeking help, support and treatment really do make a difference.
“To any child who’s struggling today with mental health or a learning disorder, take a look at Carrie,” Fisher urges. “Use her as your role model. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You’re not alone, and treatment does work.”