Throughout her life, Carrie Fisher was open about her drug addiction and mental illness.
Late last year, Carrie Fisher, age 60, went into cardiac arrest on a trans-Atlantic flight from London to Los Angeles. She passed away the following morning. Fisher was best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Starwars trilogy.
The coroner ruled Fisher’s death was caused by complications from sleep apnea “as well as other undefined factors”. New details from the post-mortem analysis reveal Fisher had traces of MDMA, morphine, cocaine, and heroin in her system.
“Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death”.
Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, said in a statement to People, “My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.”
Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 24 and admitted to trying marijuana by age 13 and LSD by age 21. Her brother, Todd Fisher, said her heart condition was exacerbated by smoking and taking a variety of medications.
Lourd went on to say, “She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles.”
Carrie Fisher wrote about her addiction in the 1987 semi-autobiographical novel, titled Postcards from the Edge, “I couldn’t stop, or stay stopped. It was never my fantasy to have a drug problem. I’d say, ‘Oh, f— it, I haven’t done anything for a couple of months, why not? Let’s celebrate not doing them by doing them.’ I got into trouble each time. I hated myself. I just beat myself up. It was very painful.”
Lourd wants to be open about the cause of her mother’s death, and combat the shame that is associated with addiction and mental illness. She pleaded, “Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure.”
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