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I not only feel better about myself because these people are also f***** up (and I guess this gives us a sense of extended community), but I feel better because look how much these fellow f****** managed to accomplish!

So here are a portion of the folks with whom I share electrocompany:

Judy Garland
Bill Styron
Sylvia Plath
Cole Porter
Lou Reed
Vivien Leigh
Yves St. Laurent
Connie Francis
Ernest Hemingway
Dick Cavett
Kitty Dukakis

I should also add that a lot of these people also show up in the alcohol addict line-up and bipolar crew (chapter nine), giving some of these multi-listers and myself the admirable distinction of having a trifecta score.

These fine folks are:

Bill Styron
Vivien Leigh
Frances Farmer
Sylvia Plath
Ernest Hemingway
Dick Cavett
Kitty Dukakis
Yves St. Laurent
Cole Porter

Why did I feel I needed ECT? Well, it had been recommended by several psychiatrists over the years, to treat my depression. But I couldn't bring myself to consider it as it seemed too barbaric. My only exposure to it was Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which wasn’t exactly an enticing example. From the seizures to the biting down on a stick to the convulsions, it looked traumatic, dangerous, and humiliating. I mean what do we know for certain about it? Aren't there a bunch of risks? What if something goes wrong and my brain blows up?

But I'd been feeling overwhelmed and pretty defeated. I didn't necessarily feel like dying—but I'd been feeling a lot like not being alive. The second reason I decided to get ECT is that I was depressed. Profoundly depressed. Part of this could be attributed to my mood disorder, which was, no doubt, probably the source of the emotional intensity. That's what can take simple sadness and turn it into sadness squared. It's what revs up the motor of misery, guns the engine of an unpleasant experience, filling it with rocket fuel and blasting into a place in the stratosphere that is oh-so-near to something like a suicidal tendency—a place where the wish to continue living in this painful place is all but completely absent.
FROM: Living Legend Debbie Reynolds and Her Daughter, Icon Carrie Fisher
Published on February 15, 2011

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