Carrie was also diagnosed with manic depression in her 20s. "My lowest point in Carrie's and my relationship was really when we discovered that she was ill, or that she had this mental health problem, and that it was going to be with her forever. That was very hard," Debbie says. "[I wondered], 'How is she going to get along in life? How can I help her life?' All I can do is love her and always shall."

At first, Carrie struggled to accept the diagnosis. "I knew two other people who I had been told were manic depressive, and these people were nuts," she says. "It was like, 'Come on.'" 

At age 40, Carrie suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric ward for one week. When she signed into the hospital, she didn't write her own name. "I wrote with my left hand," she says. "And I wrote the word 'Shame.'"

In the hospital, doctors took Carrie off all her medication to determine if she had an allergy to one of them. "I said to them, 'I won't sleep,'" Carrie says. "And they said, 'No one ever died from losing one night's sleep.'"

Carrie stayed awake for six days straight and began believing everything on television was about her. "I was getting secret messages from the movie The Young Lions," she says. "There were secret messages from the writers."


Next Story