Actress Carrie Fisher was unabashedly vocal about her lifelong battles with mental illness and drug abuse. She once defiantly told ABC News, “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it. But bring it on.”
Her candor inspired a generation of women. If a cool and funny Hollywood icon could be so open about getting help for her struggles, then so could they.
But a disorder that ultimately contributed to Fisher’s death was something she hadn’t publicly said much about: sleep apnea.
Fisher died Dec. 27, four days after she had a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
In a news release Friday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office said sleep apnea — where a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep, sometimes more than 100 times a night — was a contributing factor in her death, according to the Associated Press.
The medical examiner still listed the cause of Fisher’s death as “undetermined,” according to the AP. Other contributing factors were her ingestion of multiple unspecified drugs and a buildup of fatty tissue in her arteries.
More from: The Washington Post