Archives for May, 2011


Mental Health Month: Lessons From Carrie Fisher

Actress Carrie Fisher, the mastermind behind Wishful Drinking (the book) and "Wishful Drinking" (the production) and the newest celebrity spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, recently sat down with Entertainment Tonight to talk about why she decided to lose weight with Jenny Craig, mental illness (and in particular, Bipolar Disorder), and her new book Shockaholic.

Shockaholic, due out November 2011, leads us to believe we'll learn a lot about the electroconvulsive therapy Fisher receives about every six weeks.

Even without Wishful Drinking, Fisher's highs and lows have been pretty public. From mental illness and substance abuse problems to her significant weight gain, Fisher has candidly discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly.

But why? Why be so open with your problems? Why make your personal struggles someone else's entertainment?

Well, according to Fisher:
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Weekend Reading: Courtney Love Talks Smack – No, Really

Today's "Weekend Reading" comes from The Fix, a new website dealing with addiction and recovery - "straight up."

During a two-part interview with Courtney Love, The Fix's Maer Roshan talks with the 46-year-old former frontwoman of Hole about:

When and how she started using drugs.
How her heroin addiction began at a party thrown by Charlie Sheen.
Which was harder for her to stop using (coke or heroin?).
When she realized she'd hit rock bottom (I'll give you a hint: It's between the time she snorted cocaine off Pamela Anderson's bum and the Christmas she bought her pharmacists widescreen plasma televisions).
The time she almost jumped off Lenny Kravitz's roof.
How she doesn't believe her drug use affected Frances Bean, the daughter she had with her now-deceased husband, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
All the amends she's had to make.

Love also opens up about how the experiences celebrities have in rehab centers can differ from those us Regular Joes and Janes have (she didn't exactly give Connecticut's Silver Hill a glowing recommendation for detoxing, though the facility seems to have benefited
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Who Lies About Having A Heroin Addiction? Maybe Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan (pictured right, with Joan Baez) celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday, but just before the singer-songwriter could get his party started (I'm speculating, of course) BBC released information about a previously unheard 1966 interview during which Dylan tells his friend Robert Shelton that not only has he contemplated suicide, be also he kicked a $25-a-day heroin addiction.
I kicked a heroin habit in New York City. I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.
Even in 2011, when we've become fairly desensitized to the substance abuse problems of the rich and famous, this might seem shocking - if for no other reason than...well, aside from the random rumor, we've never heard Dylan himself actually talk about it.

Oh, and there's the fact that in 1984, he told Rolling Stone he "never got hooked on any drug," which is probably why
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Mental Health Month: Lessons From Ozzy Osbourne

Yes, Ozzy Osbourne.

Here in the South, we have a disclaimer of sorts. It begins with "God Bless..." and follows up with someone's name or, more commonly, that person's heart or soul. It means well enough, but more often than not it's used as a preamble by a speaker who's getting ready to do some lightweight gossiping, complaining, insulting, or overall trash talking.

I imagine God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, the new Jack Osbourne-produced documentary about former Black Sabbath frontman and rock icon Ozzy Osbourne, does just that - minus the lightweight.

During the past four decades of his music career - and even personal life - Ozzy Osbourne has had few secrets. From biting the head off a bat to nearly strangling his wife Sharon Osbourne to death, someone somewhere has been witness to the kinds of dangerous, disturbing, and life-threatening behavior that takes over when a person loses all control to alcohol and drug addiction.

Of his antics - including his behavior during The Osbournes filming - Ozzy says:
I'm not proud of all that. But it's been part of my journey.
So what's the lesson?

Own your journey.

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Paul Simon On Eminem: “He’ll Regret It.”

The ink's been long dried on this weekend's "Weekend Reading" (this particular Rolling Stone issue hit stands several weeks ago, though you can still access it online, via the mag's digital archives, or from that buddy who has a subscription) so I won't even call it that, but I didn't want to pass up one of the stories.

The April 29 issue of Rolling Stone includes a feature article about Paul Simon, during which the singer-songwriter speaks about some helpful advice he received from a therapist, how he hopes he and former Simon and Garfunkel member Art Garfunkel can reschedule the tour they had to cancel last summer, and his ex-wife, Carrie Fisher.

Although Simon and Fisher were only married for about as long as it takes to recover from a good sneezing attack, Fisher - author, Jenny Craig spokeswoman, and mental health advocate - has apparently written at length about their marriage, something Simon tells Rolling Stone she's entitled to do.

However, it's not his direct response to Fisher's outspokenness that piqued my curiosity; instead, it's his opinion about rapper Eminem's.

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Mental Health Month: 7 Ways To Advocate Like A Celebrity!

Every May since 1949, people all across the United States band together to shine a spotlight on mental health. We call it Mental Health Month, and we aim to increase mental health awareness and provide information about resources, educational tools, and support.

Given that one in four Americans lives with a diagnosable - and treatable - mental health condition, it only makes sense.

Some of the folks best positioned for increasing mental health awareness and education are celebrities, which is one of the reasons Psych Central and I created Celebrity Psychings.

The main reason for this?

By their very nature, celebs are perfectly posed to spread a message. Sometimes they do it on purpose (like Glenn Close launching Bring Change 2 Mind), and sometimes they do it simply by publicly living life's ups and downs (like Christina Aguilera taking her rough year and turning it into a coaching method).

Still, whatever they're doing - promoting a new movie, touring with a new album, rendezvousing with a co-star, undergoing a little nip and tuck, or committing some paparazzi faux pas - celebrities are seen and heard while they're doing it.

And, what's it take to really spread the word about mental health?

You guessed it: Be seen and be heard.

If you’re part of mental health support group, work or volunteer at your local community mental health center, are organizing a mental health event such as the annual NAMIWalks in your area - or are simply thinking of getting involved in any such endeavor - you have to make yourself and your cause seen and heard.

You have to advocate like a celebrity.

So, how can YOU advocate like a celebrity? How can YOU make sure your message is both SEEN and HEARD?

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Mental Health Month: Lessons From Princess Beatrice

During her appearance on Oprah last Wednesday, Sarah Ferguson - the Duchess of York herself - announced (among other things) that Princess Beatrice, her daughter with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (obvs), is auctioning off the now infamous hat she wore to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.


Well, it's not because of all the negative hub-bub. (Come on. Like royalty wears the same hat twice anyway. Psht.)

Well...maybe it is, sort of.

Princess Beatrice and Her Hat (pictured right - the octopus-looking one) caused quite the sensation when they arrived at Westminster Abbey late last month to witness the marriage of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - none of it very flattering, but sensation, nonetheless.

Rather than burn the headpiece and curse designer Philip Treacy for the monstrosity, the princess has decided to do something good with it:

Throw it up on eBay and donate the proceeds to UNICEF and Children in Crisis.

So what's the lesson?

Make lemonade, baby.

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Weekend Reading: Steven Tyler Puts A Mic To His Head

Speaking of American Idol judges with something to say...

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who's been to Hell and back over the last year or so (think serious band drama, addiction, rehab, and signing on to judge American Idol), released his autobiography earlier this month.

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? hit stands May 3, and according to Tyler himself, promises to be "all the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex &...
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Former NFL Players Sign On For MHA 2011 Annual Conference

Are you ready for some football?

I hope those of you who will be attending Mental Health America's 2011 Annual Conference are, as you're in for a special treat - of the NFL variety.

Mental Health America (MHA) has just added two new speakers who will present The Stigma of Mental Health in Professional Sports: Former NFL Quarterback Eric Hipple and former NFL All-Pro Punter Greg Montgomery.

According to MHA, attendees will get to:
Hear these two former pro-football-players-turned-advocates discuss their personal mental health experiences, the stigma they faced as athletes, how they were able to recover and what they're doing today to improve outcomes for and give hope to people who are going through what they did.
If you've been reading Celebrity Psychings for a while, then you know we love us some Greg Montgomery. Not only did he
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Mental Health Month: Lessons From Slash

Last week we looked at Catherine Zeta-Jones, and for this week's "Mental Health Month: Lessons From..." we're looking at legendary rock guitarist Slash.

On March 26, 2011, Slash auctioned off what's been described as an "extensive collection" of his personal belongings - everything from clothing and guitars to furniture and vehicles - and used the proceeds to help raise money for the Los Angeles Youth Network, an organization that takes in wayward youths.

A hefty helping hand it must have been, too, considering his Corvette Stingray and the guitar he played during his last Super Bowl performance alone brought in over $200,000.

So what's the lesson?

Learn to let go.

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