In honor of World Bipolar Day, we’re shining the spotlight on Catherine Zeta-Jones, a brave mom, and actress, who brought her battle with mental illness to the forefront, after revealing, in 2011, that she had bipolar II disorder.
Zeta-Jones has always maintained a very private life and told ABC News that she didn’t want to share her bipolar prognosis publicly, nor be the poster child for the disorder. But, she thought, if she could help others out there then she would open up about her personal struggles. She acknowledged that before she sought help for her condition it was hard for her to even get out of bed in the morning.
In 2012, when her husband, Michael Douglas, was diagnosed with throat cancer the mom recalls suffering with sleeplessness, worry and stress. Shortly thereafter, she admitted herself into a facility to get help. A year later, the 44-year-old proactively checked into another undisclosed mental health center to seek further treatment. We applaud the actress for taking the steps necessary to get better, for the sake of her health and her family.
Zeta-Jones, and Douglas, 69, have two children together, daughter, Carys, 10, and son, Dylan, 13, and we can imagine that this has probably affected them in some way. She’s created a safe haven in her home, a place where she can hide away and have her space. She told InStyle magazine that exercise also helps improve her temperament.
Bipolar is a mental illness, classified as a mood disorder and, according to WebMD, there are several types, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and mixed bipolar. All involve a certain degree of depression and mania (an elevated or agitated state). Other key characteristics can include: change in sleep or appetite, low energy, major depression, which can last at least two weeks, and even suicidal thoughts. Zeta-Jones’ diagnosis of bipolar II is said to be a milder form of bipolar I. And, with proper mood stabilizing medication, in some cases psychotherapy, plus, maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, this disorder can be managed.
Photo Credit: dalapr
When the Welsh beauty opened up to People magazine about her struggles she said that if her revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to get care, then it was worth it. She went on to say that there’s no need to suffer silently, or shame in seeking help.
In the fall of 2014 the Academy and Tony Award winner can be seen on Broadway in a rock musical based on the life of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.
We thank Mrs. Zeta-Jones for her transparency and hope that her bold admission will help others, and encourage those hurting to take the necessary steps to get healed.