Catherine-Zeta Jones has checked herself back into a health care facility in order to treat her bipolar disorder. Catherine had also been treated back in 2011, and at that point, she announced to the world that she was bipolar in an effort to help erase the stigma of the disorder. This time, Catherine is said to have gone back for more treatment not because anything specific triggered it, but because she is being "proactive" and "maintaining" her health. This sort of makes it all sound like she's on a diet or headed to the gym. Which is maybe the way it should be.
Catherine's rep told People magazine:
Previously Catherine has said that she is committed to periodic care in order to manage her health in an optimum manner.
A friend tells the mag:
There was no big problem. This was just a good time to do it. She is in between projects. This has always been part of the plan. She would manage her health. She is vigilant about it.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by massive mood swings -- often from the depths of depression to hypomanic episodes. Those episodes can be either euphoric or can be negative bouts of anxiety, insomnia, and disorganized thinking.
At the time Catherine opened up about her disorder, she said:
There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help.
I think Catherine has the right idea -- people who have other chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes don't wait until there's a big flare-up before they get treatment. It is something they are careful to keep in check with constant monitoring. My guess is that along with medication, Catherine must keep her stress levels in check, and periodically get more intensive treatment, which is probably easier to do away from home and her children, where she can focus solely on herself. Not everyone has that option -- in fact, most parents don't.
But for parents with mental health issues, I think it's good to look at Catherine and see that she is prioritizing herself and taking time away from her family so that she can keep her disorder from taking over her life. I mean, you don't wait until your car breaks down to get a tune-up, shouldn't your mental health be more important than your wheels?
Have you ever dealt with a mental health issue? How did you manage it?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr