Carrie Fisher, Losing So Much More Than a Princess

“You have your moments, not many of them but you have them.”

-Princess Leia

Princess Leia via Google. Losing More Than a Princess- Carrie Fisher and Mental Health.

My Princess is gone.

As a self-professed Star Wars junkie, I felt a disturbance in the force when I heard Carrie Fisher passed away. As someone who has mental health struggles, my heart was broken that such a fierce advocate for mental health was lost.

To honor her memory, I want to be open with my mental health diagnosis in the hope that maybe it will help you to understand what a loved one is going through, or to let you know you’re not alone.

“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that.

I survived that, I’m still surviving it, bring it on.”

-Carrie Fisher

 

I grew up in a household well familiar with depression in a time that mental health was not a common topic- both my mother and grandmother have dealt with it for years. So when I was diagnosed with chronic depression it was not surprising, what was surprising was the crippling anxiety that accompanied it, as well as the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve been on several medications good and bad over the years, I’ve also had periods of non-medication. Either way, mental health is always on my mind.

Princess Leia via Google. Losing More Than a Princess- Carrie Fisher and Mental Health.

Image via Majo Clinic

Let’s talk about depression.

 

There are two different main types of depression:

1: Situational: Everyone gets sad at some point, it’s totally normal. Losing someone, a tough semester, a rough time at work can all take you to a depressed state. Therapy can be very beneficial.

2: Chemical: This is depression you cannot help and is normally hereditary. There is a chemical imbalance in your brain that makes it impossible to “snap out” of a depressed stage. Medication is needed to rebalance the chemicals in the brain.

I deal with chemical depression- like Carrie Fisher dealt with chemical imbalances that led to bipolar disorder. It’s something that makes it impossible to get out of bed some days, something that makes me shut down to the world from time to time, something that has made me try giving everything up and end it all.

Having a hero like Carrie Fisher speak out about mental health showed me everyone has their demons. She showed me to embrace it and find therapies and medications that help, to not be ashamed but to speak out in order to help others.

“We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges.

Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival.

An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder.”

-Carrie Fisher

3 Depression Fighters:

THERAPY.

DO NOT be afraid to say you need help! Therapy is not for failures. Therapy is beneficial and can be short or long term. Sometimes you just need a confidential talk to sort through things, sometimes you need someone to give you better coping methods.

MEDICATION.

Taking medication is NOT giving up. It’s realizing the issue is something completely out of your control! Just like you would take medicine for high cholesterol or chronic migraines taking medicine for serotonin imbalances is totally normal.

SUNSHINE.

NEVER underestimate what taking a moment for you outside in the sun will do. Go for walk, if that even sounds like too much just lay down in your front yard and be.

3 Things to NOT Say to Someone With Depression:

“JUST SNAP OUT OF IT.”

This is never ok to say to someone who is dealing with something internally.

“I was sad once.”

Everyone gets sad- being sad and unable to cope with life to the point of self-harm is different. No joke: I once had someone compare my sadness about losing my dad, to when they lost their dog. NOT COOL.

Saying anything to make them feel like they aren’t good enough.

Saying “you just need to be stronger” is not going to solve anything.

Instead of saying any of these, just let them you are THERE. Even if that means doing nothing and sitting together in total darkness! 

So thank you, Carrie, for the deep thrills of leaps to light speed and being a princess that was more than dresses and castles.

Thank you for being unafraid to embrace who you were in your innermost soul and allowing so many others to do the same. 

46 Comments

  1. February 27, 2017 / 9:54 am

    I’m so happy tou said taking medicine isn’t giving up because I take medicine just to feel normal! Thanks for sharing babe xo

  2. February 16, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Needed to read this post again due to current events and I am so glad I did.
    Thank you for being so open and honest.
    I love your heart. I love your friendship. I love your faith. But above all, I love your strength.
    You are so dear to me.
    -Shell

  3. Ruthie Ridley
    January 26, 2017 / 12:02 am

    Wow…. all I can say is how much I just love and adore you. Thank you for opening up about your personal struggles. I believe that you set a lot of people free with this post. I did struggle with depression for a period of time and it was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I did not know this about the princess. I still cannot believe she is good. Much much love to you my dear friend! XO

  4. Jalisa
    January 23, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    What a wonderful heartfelt post. I commend you for being open about the depression you face, while providing tips on how to assist others in coping. You are strong and an inspiration, my girl. Thanks so much for sharing and bringing awareness to this important topic to all of your readers. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

    Xo,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Jalisa, your comments always brighten my day love! Thank you so much for always giving much-needed support and a boost of confidence just when it’s most needed. I hope your week is full of love and happiness! Hugs, Kait

  5. Vanessa
    January 23, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Such an honest post, dear. While I don’t suffer from depression I do however have a close friend who does. Loved your tips on how to fight it though. I know having a strong support system always helps. Much love, dear heart!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      That strong support system is so important for anyone- depressed or non-depressed! I’m so #blessed to have a system in place that is always there for me. I hope you’re doing well this week babe! Hugs, Kait

  6. January 22, 2017 / 11:54 pm

    What an amazing post. I definitely went through depression a few years ago and just being surrounded by loved ones and staying busy definitely helped me see the light through that time. Such great tips and thank you for sharing! xo

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      People really can make or break you when you are depressed. I’m so glad to hear you are doing better now! Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much! Hugs, Kait

  7. Sydney
    January 21, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    Wow you really wrote an amazing post. I must say I 100% agree and sunshine is a hug help.

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much Sydney! It’s always those little things that help the most. Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Thanks for the love babe! Hugs, Kait

  8. Taylor Aube
    January 21, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    I loved this post Kait. Thank you for being so open and honest. I struggle with depression as well, and I find (although it might take the most energy) is to take my dog for a walk outside for 10-15 minutes to calm down. It’s like once I’m outside all of my worries seem so small. Thank you for this post <3

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      It’s amazing the magic that the sun has! Fresh air is one of the best medicines for any ailments. Thank you for reading Taylor and I hope you have a fantastic week. Hugs, Kait

  9. January 21, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    This is such a great post, thank you for sharing! It’s so hard to see what’s lurking right beneath the surface sometimes, especially as bloggers, people just don’t know!

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      YES. Especially with bloggers, we all present the perfect veneer but what is going on behind the screen is often so different. Definitely very important to remember! Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      I hope you have a great week love! Hugs, Kait

  10. January 20, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    I was seeing Rogue One when I found out. So sad! Thanks for sharing about your struggle with depression with us.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Oh how sad! I hope you enjoyed the movie- I thought it was great. Thank you for reading babe. Hugs, Kait

  11. January 20, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Kait, thanks for sharing- you are beautiful inside and out, lady!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Boston Chic Party

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      You are so sweet Jenna! Right back at you! Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      She left far too early. 😢 Hugs, Kait

  12. Jessica Sheppard
    January 20, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Thank you so much babe! I’m so glad you dropped by to read it. Hugs, Kait

  13. Dawn Darnell
    January 20, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    Love this post so much. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Dawn. Hugs, Kait

  14. January 20, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    Depression and so many other mental diseases effect so many people who suffer silently. Thank you for opening up about this!

    xoxo,
    Kim
    http://www.champagneistablog.com

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      It shouldn’t be something people have to silently deal with- yet sometimes that’s all you can do. I’m so glad society is opening their eyes to how depression and anxiety work and affect people. Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      Thank you for reading! Have a great week love. Hugs, Kait

  15. January 20, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Thank you for being so open and shedding light on depression! This post was a beautiful way to honor Carrie Fisher’s memory. <3

    xo Brie

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      I strongly believe she would want to be remembered for the brave work she did- not just being a badass princess! Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Aww thank you so much for reading babe! Hugs, Kait

  16. Tarah Peacock
    January 20, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Mental illness is such a serious thing. I love seeing the stigma’s slowly being broken down. I struggle with anxiety and it was something that took me awhile to seek treatment for because of the stigma. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 24, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      I’m so glad you let go of the stigma and got the help you need! I read this week that therapy can actually rewire your brain to permanently fix problems over time. Just amazing! Hugs, Kait

  17. January 20, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    What a touching post love. It’s so good to see this sort of sharing on the topic of depression – so many of us have experience either personally or with friends and family. Thanks for sharing. xoxo
    Andi of ouiewgirl.com

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 20, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      You are so right and I appreciate you reading it. Hugs, Kait

  18. January 20, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Thank you so much for opening up and being real about this! Such a relatable post to so many of us. Love your tips on fighting depression! xx

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 20, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! It really is a daily battle. Hugs, Kait

    • Kait Elizabeth
      January 20, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      Thank you babe! They are simple but effective. Have a great weekend love. Hugs, Kait

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