In the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death, many of her fans are celebrating her iconic role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” series as well as her witty, insightful writing in “Postcards From the Edge” and “Wishful Drinking.” But many more have commended her honesty with mental illness and her bravery with sharing her own experiences. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 24 years old and spoke often and frequently about the disease and her experiences with addiction in order to remove the stigma from both.
Now according to The New York Times, fans have begun sharing their own experiences with mental illness using the hashtag #InHonorOfCarrie. It began when senior political correspondent for MTV Ana Marie Cox came out with her own bipolar disorder, and soon many others followed.
I’m pretty open about being in recovery; I’ve been more circumspect about mental illness. In honor of Carrie Fisher: I’m bipolar, too.
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) December 27, 2016
“I really did think, ‘What would Carrie do?’” Ms. Cox said in a telephone interview with The New York Times. “I really did identify her as a feminist icon, a model for being a tough smart girl. But where she really pushed the boundary of what we could talk about in polite company or impolite company was her mental illness and her openness about that.”
The hashtag was created by Chicago radio personality Julie DiCaro, who tweeted that she had been in treatment for depression.
We need a hashtag. #InHonorOfCarrie I’ve been in treatment for depression since my 20s.
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) December 27, 2016
“I wanted to do something that wasn’t about [Fisher] being beautiful or a sex symbol,” said DiCaro, “but about her being a woman who wasn’t afraid to speak out about mental illness. She became a hero to me because of who she was off the screen more than who she was on the screen.”
Fisher was survived by her daughter Billie Lourd, her mother Debbie Reynolds, her brother Todd Fisher, their half-sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher and her dog Gary.