Actress Carrie Fisher spoke out for the first time since being hospitalized after a public bipolar-disorder episode. Fisher, 56, is still recovering but doing well a month following the breakdown.
"I went completely off the rails," Carrie told People. "I don't really remember what I did. I haven't watched the videos that people took. I know it got bad. I was in a very severe manic state which bordered on psychosis. Certainly delusional. I wasn't clear what was going on. I was just trying to survive."
In early February, Fisher was briefly hospitalized and treated for bipolar disorder after behaving erratically on a Caribbean cruise ship. Carrie was in the middle of a guest performance on board the vessel Holland America Eurodam when she began singing off key while she allowed her dog to defecate and urinate on stage.
Bipolar disorder, which afflicts about six million Americans, is marked by extremes in elevated or irritable moods with periods of depression. Treatment usually involves a combination of drugs and talk therapy. Actress Catherine Zeta Jones recently revealed she suffers from bipolar II disorder.
Fisher, who has suffered from manic-depression since the age of 13, has been open about her bipolar disorder as well as her past drug abuse and prescription-drug addiction. Carrie regularly gets electro-convulsive therapy to keep her mood swings under control and says her fragile mental state during the cruise-ship meltdown was marked by frenetic, manic energy that kept her from sleeping.
"[On the cruise] I wasn't sleeping," Fisher recalls. "I was writing on everything. I was writing in books; I would have written on walls. I literally would bend over and be writing on the ground and [my assistant] would try to talk to me, and I would be unable to respond."
Carrie, who slurred her words and mumbled during the cruise-ship incident, says her mental state was even more chaotic than her behavior on stage indicated.
"There are different versions of a manic state, and normally they're not as extreme as this became," she says. "I've only had this happen one other time, 15 years ago, so I didn't have a plan of action."
Fisher is now getting treatment and had her medication adjusted during her hospitalization. Carrie, who shot to fame playing Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, will reportedly reprise her iconic role in the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII."