Actress, jokester, and animal-loving icon Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016. As evidenced by the response that followed, her impact dismantling stigma surrounding mental illness will live on for generations to come.
The “Star Wars” legend, who died at age 60 less than one week after suffering a heart attack, was more than an actor. She fought for animal welfare. She railed against sexism, body-shaming, and ageism in Hollywood. And she often spoke candidly about living with addiction and bipolar disorder.
To many fans, Fisher’s openness about living with mental illness made a big difference.
Helping to stomp out the stigma against mental illness quickly became one way that fans honored Fisher’s legacy.
People began opening up about their own experiences living with mental illness using the #InHonorOfCarrie hashtag on Twitter.
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
As their responses show, Fisher’s commitment to live freely helped normalize mental illness. And it helped countless others do the same.
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