Carrie Fisher talks ECT therapy, Ann Curry doesn’t get her humor

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My mom and I watched Carrie Fisher’s one woman special Wishful Drinking on HBO together. It was so much fun for us, and we could each relate to the Hollywood stories she told. Carrie was funny, self effacing and honest. She went into detail on her crazy family background and upbringing, and somehow she managed to make extreme dysfunction sound hilarious. She was also very honest about the fact that she’s an addict, that she has bipolar disorder and that she’s used electroconvulsive therapy to treat it.

The last we heard of Carrie she was triumphantly showing off her 50 pound weight loss as a new spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She was also sporting an entirely new face, something that she didn’t really mention but was incredibly obvious. She looks good and she hasn’t gone overboard with the Botox and fillers. Well Carrie was on The Today Show this morning promoting her latest memoir, Shockaholic. While smoking an e-cigarette, she extolled the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy, saying that it was a last ditch effort for her, that it’s not painful at this point since they put you to sleep before they do it, and that she highly recommends it. I find her awesome, but it was clear that Ann Curry didn’t get her sense of humor at all.

On if she sees it as her job to break the stigmas over ECT
I want to fracture them. Breaking is just going to far… The stigma on that one is so crazy, though. It’s a Hollywood one.

On why she did ECT
I did it because I’m bipolar. It took me 5 million years to do it. It is the last ditch treatment. They had tried everything else on me. Once I did it, it was like “I wish I’d dont this before.”

On if ECT hurts
They put you to sleep. It’s very different than it used to be. They put you to sleep, there’s no more convulsions. They should call it ET.

On if she recommends it
If they’re that far into it. I don’t recommend like if you have a free afternoon… If you’re depressed, absolutely. They put you to sleep, there’s a medication they give you so there’s no convulsions.

Remember in that movie “What Lies Beneath” when Michelle Pfiefer goes under and Harrison almost kills her? That’s the medication. I had Harrison inject it to me and almost kill me.

Ann: “Oh dear, dear dear. Alright let’s move on.”

Carrie was cracking jokes and all Ann Curry did was act all serious and go “oh,” and “mmm.” After a while, Carrie made more obvious jokes and then Curry gave a couple of forced laughs. It’s like Carrie realized that Ann was so dim she wasn’t going to get it. She’s such a lousy interviewer.

I love that Carrie is so open about what she went through and is talking about what worked for her. They should have had Al Roker interview her instead of Curry. Al would have laughed his ass off.

Here’s Carrie and her mom Debbie Reynolds at the Emmy Awards on 9/11/11. Credit: WENN.com

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45 Responses to “Carrie Fisher talks ECT therapy, Ann Curry doesn’t get her humor”

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  1. rightgrrl says:

    I LOVE her and she looks great! glad she has found help for her bi-polar condition through ECT (though it DOES sound scary, she makes it sound like a legitimate option for those willing to do what it takes to beat their bi-polar disorder)

  2. Jackie says:

    i really enjoy carrie fisher.

    ect is very helpful for those with severe depression, who have tried all other options. good for her…breaking down the stigma.

    how did anne curry get that job??? god, she sucks.

  3. clouie says:

    Ann Curry is as dumb as a box of hammers.

  4. Rhiley says:

    Ann is the worst interviewer. I wish they had given the job to Savannah Guthrie. Carrie Fisher could be Katherine Heigl’s cool twin, though.

  5. It is truly a mystery to me that Ann Currey has come as far in her career as she has. I do not see the appeal there.

  6. photo jojo says:

    I have two kids with bipolar disorder, and I am so glad for every celebrity that talks about their own struggles and triumphs with this illness.

  7. gee says:

    She does look very good.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I like Carrie, I’m glad things are going well for her.
    I don’t dislike Ann, but I agree she is a terrible interviewer.
    A guy I know had to do the ECT treatments for bipolar. It seemed to help him, and he definitely needed the help.

  9. Seal Team 6 says:

    LOVE her, and her writing is so damned terrific.

  10. the original bellaluna says:

    Carrie’s sense of humour is AWESOME! And sarcastic, and “that dry English wit,” as my wonderful mother would put it.

  11. Kristen says:

    Love Carrie Fisher, but Ann is the worst. You can’t host a morning show and be completely void of personality. She and Natalie Morales should trade places.

  12. Hellen says:

    Ann Curry’s a dolt. I used to work with her at a small local station, and she was dull and humorless, but very ambitious. And she really worked that “minority woman” franchise in a market that was almost exclusively white male territory.

  13. anti says:

    YAY Carrie! Happy for her :)

  14. Kelly says:

    Hi; I have suffered from unipolar depression since I was 15; I’m now 42 (unipolar means I don’t experience the manic phases); I’ve tried many medications, etc…therapy. It is a real illness, and often entails anxiety and sleep problems as well. ECT is extremely helpful to me; I’m sad that our health care in this country is so messed up, so that many who need it cannot afford it. I’m on disability ; I substitute teach when I can; lead my life as healthily as possible, including my Christian faith.

  15. girl says:

    Carrie Fisher is awesome. I watched Wishful Drinking with my 15 year old daughter and we both loved it.

    Good for her for trying to help take the stigma away from mental illness. It really is about time.

    I wish her all the happiness.

    And I totally don’t get the Ann Curry thing. How is she still on a national TV show after all these years?

  16. Delta Juliet says:

    HA! That comment about Harrison Ford, and Ann’s response, about killed me.

  17. bananapanda says:

    I think it was Royal Pains that had a woman doing ECT treatment for depression. It’s very different now. The old way was to strap you down, bite on something and zap you. Now it’s like a laser treatment that targets a specific area of the brain while the patient is sedated.

    Bipolar disease is very tough. I have a friend who didn’t make it to 30. The worst thing about mental illness is the onset is often during your college years when you’re least likely to notice and/or get help.

  18. Onyx XV says:

    I love Carrie Fisher. I’m so glad she exists! I’ve enjoyed most of her books and this reminds me I still need to see “Wishful Drinking.” *adding to queue*

    On another note, other than a little odd tightness around her mouth, I don’t really see the “entirely new face.” She looks just the same to me now as she has for the past few years. If it’s at all different, it’s probably just from the weight loss. That can change your face a lot.

  19. Twez says:

    The plastic surgery she had was restrained and looks great. She actually still looks like herself and not like she’s trying to look 24 years old.

  20. the original bellaluna says:

    Kelly – God bless and prayers to you. It sounds like you’re doing well.

    I like Carrie because she doesn’t “sugar-coat” it. She’s real. She’s honest.

    Sometimes “real” and “honest” sucks, but that doesn’t make it any less real or honest. God love her for telling the truth.

  21. keri says:

    “The book is called Shopaholic” Hilar.

  22. CindyBman says:

    If this is hijacking a thread I apologize.

    @Kelly – may I ask you a question: Is “unipolar” really the diagnosis? I’m not railing on it — by no means!

    See, I was diagnosed with depression when I was 25 (I’m 46 now). Over the years, I’ve been treated with almost every med out there (Prozac, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Lexapro, Zoloft) all with promising starts and then nothing. I’ve hated it and I hate how most psych drs just throw medicine at you and hope one sticks.

    I’ve met a new dr who I really like and respect (he actually spends time with me and talks with me!) and he diagnosed me as bipolar and has started me on Lactimil (sp?). So far it’s going great – been on it about 2 months. But what really made me notice your comment is that, my “downs” are definitely down, but, my “ups” aren’t really up. My “up” days are just what barely makes up a healthy person’s day — running a few errands, grocery shopping and making dinner. There’s no fast talk, super-highs, manic phases. Any information I could get would be great. I’ll go googling but I thought it might be good to hear from you, too.

    All the best to you!

  23. Aqua says:

    How can anyone not love her. Can you imagine the pressure Carrie must of felt having such famous parents?She’s been through hell and back and dispite it all she has managed to keep a sense of humour and hopefully help bring some awareness and a better understanding to mental illness.

    @ Kelly #14 Thanks for sharing best of luck to you.

  24. Gal says:

    I haven’t watched the Today show since she took over with Matt. I had watched it for over 20 years. She IS the worst interviewer. I do miss the show but not enough so watch her.

  25. Zelda says:

    @Cindy #22

    I have been diagnosed bi-polar II.
    I’m hesitant to say this, but I think your dr may have you misdiagnosed. If you’ve been manic, you’d definitely know. It’s not subtle, and it’s unmistakeable. I understand the frustration with not finding results in your meds and therapies, but changing the diagnosis is not necessarily the way to go.
    Believe me, if you have a “manic” side, you know it (and often love it, but that’s another discussion)

  26. Melissa says:

    I love Carrie Fisher, but she has a mullitude of 11 in these pics!

  27. rose says:

    I really don’t like Ann Curry. I remember watching her interview Angelina Jolie and I was just cringing the whole time at her nodding and facial expressions.

  28. whitedaisy says:

    Poor, sweet Ann Curry….. is there really no one else with more intelligence and wit that could have taken over?
    I can’t watch it any more because she is so weak.

    PS Lurve Carrie Fisher.

  29. danielle says:

    Ugh, Ann Curry is as dumb as a box of rocks. I can’t watch her after than cringing, fawning interview with Brad Pitt, ugh!!

  30. ceenitall says:

    Carrie Fisher was also interviewed with Cathy Lee and Hoda where she stated that she hasn’t had ANY plastic surgery (um okay) just some fillers around her mouth. She said that she wouldn’t lie about that and tell the truth about all the other stuff. So there you have it no plastic surgery.

  31. normades says:

    I love when she outed John Travolta. You know it’s true!!!

  32. taxi says:

    Carrie’s had lots of plastic surgery. Compare pics from a couple of years ago & it’s hard to tell it’s the same person.

    She is funny & witty.

    Agree about Ann Curry. I never watch that show anymore because she’s so inept. Must have the goods on somebody in the hierarchy or be somebody’s gf. No other explanation I can think of.

  33. Jane says:

    I wish I’d seen that interview; but I quit watching the Today Show when Ann Curry became one of the lead anchors. So many personable, professional women they could have promoted. Bluch.

  34. Debby says:

    I adore Carrie and will be ordering her new book. For those who haven’t seen it yet, her one woman show on HBO was perfection. It was really honest about her life, but with that wicked sense of humor which I imagine must help her sanity. I have worked with bipolar students, and it is painful to see someone so hampered by forces outside their control. My heart goes out to Carrie and all other people with this diagnosis.

  35. Cherry Rose says:

    I would love to do ECT, but unfortunately I’ve been told by several doctors that it really doesn’t help Bipolar I in the long run. It’s more for those with depression.

    Anyway, I love Carrie Fisher. Love that she’s the voice of Angela on Family Guy. And love that she’s one of the few people in Hollywood that will actually talk about their mental illness.

  36. boo says:

    Just wanted to state the obvious also, I love me some Carrie Fisher, I have not seen the HBO Wishful Drinking, but did read the book. I love her sense of humor and especially the fact that she can tell it like it is, in a nice way, not all angry and stuff. I want to do that.

  37. Callumna says:

    Ann Curry really is the worst. I’ve quit watching that show for so many reasons (used to watch so much) but she was the first reason I quit.

    Many reasons to stay quit, but Ann Curry is one.

  38. sosuzy says:

    I can’t watch the show anymore because Ann Curry is soooo stupid!!! Love Carrie Fisher though she is so real, unlike Ms.Curry.

  39. Amy says:

    I also have had ECT and it made a world of difference in my depression. Good for her that she is talking about it and shedding light on this. I have been on every antidepressant you can imagine and this treatment worked wonders for me. It is a last resort kind of thing, but it is amazing. I have struggled with depression most of my adult life and it is horrible. Kudos to Carrie Fisher :)

  40. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    BP-1 here: I’m not a doctor, but I have to go with ‘If it were BP, you’d know’ concensus, but I’m not a doctor!

    There are people who I wish I had never met because I was inflicted upon them during those first manic rushes that coincided with my university years which were peak anxiety times because I was doing a double degree which partially coincided with a diploma I began in the latter half of high school and working two jobs. These are the stupid things you do when you’re in the ‘but you don’t it’ stage. It turned out that I could ‘do it all’–but had I known what was guiding a lot of my choices, I could’ve saved myself a nervous breakdown. They all said I’d suffer a collapse by age 20 (ALL SAID), I showed them–I was 21!! Anyone who knew me at that time intimitely, would have generally good things to say, I believe it now, to a point, but probably would say that there was some barrier between what they saw of me, and the more placid or present, depending on how I was cycling, person who I actually was and once all of the trappings and habits in place that were necessary to completing this difficult stage were abandoned and I was out of a very, very bad situation, I’d finally be alright. A fine way to live. When all but those with whom you share a share a last kind of have to shrug you away, and they’re only in it because of biological compulsion.

    I didn’t end up attending my university graduation, my then-always-looking-for-a-reason-to-abuse mother attributed my hallucinations to the drugs I had never taken (to this day, I, having had the musician or scholar’s income have never been rich enough to develop an addiction, and so have never smoked anything of any kind and have only ever been slightly tipsy once, after having broken my toe on not properly-assembled furniture, and under the supervision of a former professor, who had some Scotch in his office, bless him), and I spent a truly harrowing 22nd birthday that ranks as ‘just about as painful’ as my sixteenth birthday, on which I was hit by a car on my way to a math test. Yes, a math test was worse than getting hit by a car.

    ‘Unipolar’ is a term that I have heard before, but not nearly so often as depression. For me, it was used mostly as a term of opposition, as in ‘I’m bipolar, whereas one of my sisters is unipolar’, or, ‘we’re going to investigate such-and-such to determine if you’re bipolar as opposed to unipolar’. Maybe it’s partly a matter of trying to avoid semantics of misplaced values, such as referring to someone as being bipolar as opposed to having ‘just depression’, which sounds nebulous and as though it’s an excuse people use to avoid sorting themselves out. It’s not related to truth, but perception and I put in a solid decade of being ‘just a depressive’ before determining that that depression was of a type that belonged to a subset of a greater disorder, at large.

    BP is a bitch to treat, and if any of you know something I don’t, tell me now.

    Our biology as human is pretty much identical, but our chemistry? Don’t start.

  41. atlantapug says:

    As an intern in college I watched a day of ECT at a mental institution.
    You can’t even tell they are shocking the patient.
    They give them a tiny dose of propofol (yes the same propofol of MJ fame) which puts them to sleep instantly. Then they administered succinylcholine, which paralyzes the muscles so you don’t flop about and twitch. Then they give a carefully dosed shock or two and the patient is wheeled out to recovery.
    It was quite interesting to see.
    Of course, this was 1997, so I’m not sure if the meds used are the same today.

  42. Jag says:

    @ Cindy #22 ~ My mother was diagnosed as unipolar depressive, but technically was misdiagnosed. This is because she spent most of her life depressed, but then every once in a while, like every few years, she would go manic on a spending spree. She realized this, so in later years, it would be at the dollar store or Goodwill. So she was actually bipolar, but was treated as a depressive since the anti-depressants were enough to treat her.

    A “regular” bipolar person has to be watched to see if the anti-depressants cause mania, and they also have to control manic episodes, depending upon how often they cycle. I’m bipolar, and before I became disabled, I’d be depressed about a week or two, “average” a week, and then low-building-to-high manic for about 4 weeks. I’d top out and then crash back into depression, and the cycle would repeat. But since I’ve been in chronic pain for 10 years, my cycle is completely off and tends more toward depression now, rather than mania.

    Interesting sidenote is that my father was diagnosed unipolar, too, but manic. Yet he, too, is bipolar but rarely becomes depressed. I guess it has to do with how the psychiatrist sees things; I was once told that if a person ever had a manic episode after having had depression – even if it were years later – that they were bipolar. Don’t know if that’s true, but my mom certainly was close to that.

    Remember that each person is different, and everyone has good and bad days. Go with your instinct about how you should be treated, and keep up with research if you can. It typically takes 3 years to find decent meds for the average bipolar person. It sounds like you might have found a good one for you; don’t be discouraged if you eventually have to change to another, because that’s normal. I wish you luck. :)

  43. Daniel says:

    I love Carrie Fisher. She’s done a very good job of helping to bring bipolar disorder to public attention and has done a lot of good.

    Part of the fun of her approach is that it’s often impossible to know what to make of her. She makes jokes about ECT and addiction, and makes it fairly clear that bipolar disorder isn’t some white-washed condition, but something very raw and even quirky.

    When you compare her approach to the incredibly perfect Catherine Zeta-Jones (who was also very brave to reveal her condition), you can really see the uniqueness and importance of her approach.

  44. Lisa says:

    I love Carrie Fisher. The fact that she was married to Paul Simon, my other love, makes her that much cooler.

  45. harfang says:

    I’ve adored Carrie post-Jedi (I recently realized I’ve been trying to be Leia in “Jedi” all. my. life.) since maybe 5 or 6 years ago; she was on that Comedy central show where everyone drank wine, ate a meal, and shot the shtit. She had me on the danged floor. Alec Baldwin was also in that episode and she was funnier than him. I remember watching him realize it was the best thing to do to back his personality off and give her some room.

    She looks pretty terrific. Whoa, so does Debbie actually.