Hollywood actress and author Carrie Fisher on living with bipolar disorder.

American actress and author Carrie Fisher is the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds and describes herself as the product of,

Celebrity inbreeding.

It is well documented that when Carrie Fisher was two years old her father left her mother for the actress Elizabeth Taylor. It makes for a good story,

But that and a dime won’t even get me a cup of coffee anymore.

She does not blame this for how she developed as a teenager and into adulthood. At the age of 23 she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental illness that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood.

I skipped into mental illness.

At times she does not believe this diagnosis but if she is going to be depressed she wants to have the mania first. A semi-autobiographical novel ‘The Best Awful’ fictionalises what she sees as the fun part of mental illness.

Carrie Fisher believes the only way to deal with bipolar disorder is through medication and having the will to recover. Having her daughter Billie in 1992 was also a catalyst, 

When you have a child you can’t do that stuff anymore.

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 13 February 2004. The presenter is Pat Kenny.