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:

I’ve lived in very interesting times. I have stories. But if you make them funny it’s the best alchemy in the world. And I’ve had things in my life, when they happened at the time, they were not funny. But when you can turn something like that into entertainment, that’s a real gift. I’m really grateful that I can do that.

So what’s the lesson?

Lighten up.

Mental illness is serious.

If it wasn’t, so many of us wouldn’t spend our time advocating for education, awareness, research, diagnosis, and treatment. So many of us wouldn’t spend our time trying to bust the stigma that surrounds it.

But, if we can’t pause and find humor in life – if we can’t take a breath and pick out the funny bits of an overall unfunny situation – we’re likely to completely buckle under the pressure of trying to heal it.

Just ask fellow Psych Central blogger, Chato B. Stewart, who’s turning his artistic talent and passion for making people laugh into his life’s work.

Lighten that load by picking out one thing in your own personal situation that makes you smile, or giggle, or bust out laughing. Maybe there’s some irony in the way your symptoms clash with your true personality. Maybe you just found out you’ve been pronouncing your therapist’s name incorrectly for seven years.

Maybe your medicine caused you to fall asleep during one of your father’s long-winded rants about inflation, the economy, and how much junk food he used to be able to buy for a nickle.

You don’t have to share any of that with the world if you don’t want to, but at least allow yourself a chuckle.

Today marks the end of the “Mental Health Month: Lessons From…” series for Mental Health Month 2011. Need to catch up? Check out:

REMEMBER: May is almost over, but you can advocate for mental health year round! Head over to 3 Ways To Advocate For Mental Health and 7 Ways To Advocate Like A Celebrity for tips!