Remembering Carrie and Debbie

We are sincerely grieved at Carrie Fisher’s death December 27th from heart failure. When we read that Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack December 23rd on a plane flight from London to Los Angeles, we were shocked.

Fisher as Princess Leia was just 19 years old when she began shooting “Star Wars.” By the time she was 21 she was doing LSD in an attempt to self-medicate. In 2011 she confessed to Oprah that she had electroshock therapy every six weeks, since the antidepressants were not entirely effective in dealing with her mental issues, suffering memory loss as a result. She was hospitalized in 2013 for so-called bipolar disorder, and she was still taking psychotropic drugs and getting ECT.

One can only assume such treatment continued into present time, so it is now hardly shocking that she has suffered a heart attack as well. The amazing part is her resilience. All those drugs and electric shocks through the years, in a normal person, may well have been fatal far sooner.

Any benefit one claims for ECT, no matter how famous one is, has to speak only for a person’s innate strength, since ECT, as well as psychotropic drugs, is patently damaging.

A cursory review of over 200 psychotropic drugs shows that every one has potential adverse effects of heart attacks or other heart-related problems. During ECT, the heart rate is severely impacted, either speeding up or slowing down dramatically. Most deaths reported during or immediately after ECT are cardiovascular in nature.

And now, the FDA wants to reclassify ElectroConvulsive Therapy machines to exempt them from clinical testing if they are similar to machines currently being marketed, which effectively means they do not have to be demonstrated as safe and effective.

Frankly, the FDA should simply ban outright the use of psychotropic drugs and ECT machines as being dangerous and harmful.

We are doubly saddened by the passing of Debbie Reynolds, Fisher’s mother, just a day after Fisher’s death. Debbie Reynolds was recognized for her decades-long commitment to various charities, including the mental-health organization The Thalians, a group of entertainment professionals who support mental health care issues. Reynolds was among the founders of the Thalians charity group in 1955, and was the Thalians’ third president. A mental health center at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was named after the organization. It closed in 2012 and the Thalians now raise funds for veterans with mental health issues in association with the UCLA Medical Center. Honor the memory of both Carrie and Debbie by working with CCHR to continue to bring sanity to the mental health care profession.

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