Catherine Zeta-Jones Cops to Bipolar Disorder -- That Takes Guts!

Maressa Brown

catherine zeta-jones michael douglasInstead of waiting around for paparazzi or gossip hounds to discover it on their own, Catherine Zeta-Jones made a classy move by revealing that she suffers from Bipolar II disorder. The 41-year-old actress's rep released a statement, explaining:

After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check in to a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her Bipolar II disorder. She's feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films.

Word is that Zeta-Jones spent five days at Silver Hill Hospital near New Canaan, Connecticut. Wow. On one hand, I'm really stunned, because the Welsh actress has always seemed like one of those people who just totally has her act together ...

Then again, that's the key word -- she is an actress. Because, on the other hand, having gone through such a rough time with husband Michael Douglas's throat cancer treatment (which thankfully left him disease-free), I'm not surprised that her mental health has taken a hit.

I could imagine that many people who suffer from Bipolar II just brush it aside, thinking they're "moody," "artistic," "emotional," etc., so it's a relief that Catherine sought and got an official diagnosis. Not to mention that it sounds like she was being particularly responsible and proactive by seeking out treatment, because she's about to start work on a new film, and she wanted to be in "top form," a friend told People.

Bipolar II disorder, which is marked by elevated or irritable moods alternating with periods of depression that are often triggered by major stress or life changes, not only afflicts about 6 million Americans, but I would bet more Hollywood types are affected than we know. Especially given the pace and the dramatic ups and downs built right into their lives.

But what Michael Douglas went through and Catherine coped with isn't Hollywood-specific by any means. It's got to be one of the hardest things any partner has to endure. I know a couple of brave women who went through it with their late spouses, and they'll recall those years battling their husband's cancer as some of the most challenging of their entire lives.

Although it is a terrible situation, it seems like Zeta-Jones is highly motivated to manage her condition, which will only serve to help her get well soon. And I always like to think that when celebs speak out about their personal health challenges, they're almost doing a public service. Who knows, but maybe just hearing about Catherine's struggles will inspire someone to seek treatment for themselves or a loved one.

Are you surprised by this news? Do you or a loved one suffer from Bipolar disorder?


Image via Asadorian-Mejia/Splash News

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