In a statement, the actresses publicist Cece York announced that 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.
Zeta Jones, 41, and her family have had a tumultuous year after her husband Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010. Positive news came in January 2011 when Douglas announced that his tumour had gone and he was beating the disease, though the stress of her husband’s battle with throat cancer understandably had a profound effect on Zeta Jones.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, causes severe mood swings which can last for weeks or months. The mood swings tend to alternate between intense low moods and feelings of despair, and extreme highs often referred to as manias.
Bipolar II is slightly less severe than bipolar I and is characterised by mood swings which are more heavily dominated by depressive episodes and less dominated by manias (which are milder than those which occur in Bipolar I) .
Mark Davies, a spokesman from mental health charity Rethink has commended Zeta Jones for her courage in coming forward and being honest about her disorder, despite the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“Although she’ll be feeling pretty fragile and vulnerable, she will have – in a sense – given some comfort to a lot of other people who are probably suffering in silence and probably feeling a great deal of fear,” he said.
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Please visit our fact-sheet for further information about bipolar disorder and how counselling may be able to help.