Catherine Zeta-Jones is known for a lot of things: her extensive acting career, her up and down marriage to actor Michael Douglas, her singing abilities. In recent years, though, she has also come out to explain that she suffers from bipolar disorder, a condition she shares with millions.
The timing of the revelation that she has bipolar II disorder was not exactly of her choosing. Her publicist released the information in 2011 when, following her husband’s treatment for throat cancer, she underwent in-patient treatment for the condition. She re-entered rehabilitation in 2013 for another round of treatments that she said at the time was planned as part of her ongoing effort to maintain her health.
Bipolar, or manic depressive, disorder is believe to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that creates massive mood swings in the sufferer. One moment the individual can be elated, overly joyful, and excited, and the next, deeply depressed and despondent. When a person is in a symptomatic state, they will generally experience more negative moods than positive ones.
There are proven ways the individual can manage or treat the symptoms. Medications can help level out moods so there is not such a dramatic swing. Psychotherapy, which is available in both in- and out-patient scenarios, helps the individual with recognizing signs, solving problems, and managing stress.
The honored actress admits that her husband’s bout with throat cancer played a major role in her seeking treatment on an in-patient basis — something that eventually would come out in public. She said, however, that she does not regret that her condition has become publicly known and instead views it as an opportunity to help others who may be suffering by exposing the condition and the fact that it is treatable.
The actress was quoted by E! News at the time she first opened up about her condition that she hoped her revelation would encourage others to find help and found the publicity she generated would be worth it if one person were helped. She said people need not suffer silently and should not feel shame if they do seek help.
During a 2012 interview that was televised on Good Morning America, however, she did admit she had not planned on being a “poster child” for the condition and said she had never desired the publicity. It simply came out, she said. You can see the interview in the video below.
However, since the 2011 incident, Ms. Zeta-Jones has been forthright about her bipolar condition and has done many interviews on the topic, offering, often without prompting, information about how she deals with what she seems to consider only an interference in her life.
Speaking through her publicist, she said she was able to arrange her rehabilitation treatments around her busy acting schedule and has as of now voluntarily checked herself into a health facility twice as a part of her commitment to stay healthy.
Her publicist said there was no significant problem that prompted her return to rehab for treatment in 2013. Rather it was part of a set plan since the actress was free and between projects, so she was available to do this to insure her continued health.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were married in 2000 and they have two children together, Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10. The couple announced in August 2013 that they were separating, but have been seen together many times since.
Most recently they both took their children to attend the 2014 Super Bowl, which has again prompted speculation among the Hollywood press that the two are headed toward a reconciliation since the two were also wearing their wedding rings. Mr. Douglas, who is 69, was seen standing between the two children, while the 44-year-old actress stood next to their son.