Carrie Fisher took four years to accept that she had bipolar disorder.

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher

The 60-year-old actress - who is best known for portraying Princess Leia in the 'Star Wars' franchise - was diagnosed with the mental health condition, that is marked by sharp mood swings at the age of 24, but she was initially unwilling to accept the situation.

She shared: "I was told that I was bipolar when I was 24 but was unable to accept that diagnosis until I was 28 when I overdosed and finally got sober. Only then was I able to see nothing else could explain away my behaviour."

Carrie subsequently started attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as she finally came to terms with her own troubles.

Acting as an agony aunt for readers of The Guardian newspaper in a feature dubbed 'Advice from the dark side', she spilled: "Going to AA helped me to see that there were other people who had problems that had found a way to talk about them and find relief and humour through that."

Carrie was initially reluctant to attend the AA meetings, but she soon came to see the value in them as she battled bipolar disorder.

She explained: "Initially I didn't like the groups. I felt like I had been banished to sit with a group of other misfits like myself to sit still for an hour. But then someone said, 'You don't have to like these meetings, you just have to go, go until you like them.'

"That took me by surprise. I didn't have to like something I did? Wow, what a concept. I thought I had to like everything - so I would wait to be OK with something and if I didn't get there it was permission to give up.

"But if I didn't have to like it - if I just had to effectively put my head down and move through some uncomfortable feelings till I got to the other side - what a notion!

"My comfort wasn't the most important thing - my getting through to the other side of difficult feelings was. However long it might seem to take and however unfair it might seem, it was my job to do it."

Tagged in