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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hollywood Star Catherine Zeta Jones exposes the unexposed

The revelation that Catherine Zeta-Jones is being treated for bi-polar disorder shook the world this week. There are numerous perceptions of the illness and how it manifests itself.
Catherine Zeta Jones
Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones's disclosure that she checked into a psychiatric hospital last week suffering from bipolar disorder has led to waves of sympathy for the 41-year-old actress and mother of two.

Bipolar disorder involves periods of elevated or irritable mood (mania), alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt.

It's also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression. The current term "bipolar disorder" is of fairly recent origin and refers to the cycling between high and low episodes (poles).

Mental health advocates are lauding Zeta-Jones for her bravery and for her honest depiction of what recovery may entail.
Catherine Zeta Jones
Childhood friends say they had no idea Catherine ever suffered from depression, while others point to her rambling speeches at award ceremonies as evidence of ‘illness’.

The Welsh-born, Oscar-winner's bipolar episode was apparently triggered by the stress of her 66-year-old husband Michael Douglas's battle with throat cancer; bipolarism, once known as manic depression, is typically set off by a traumatic event.

Doctors also emphasize that the Welsh actress, treated following the stress of husband Michael Douglas's recent throat cancer, will likely never be free of it but will learn to live her high-profile life with the illness.

"This is a family of illnesses that very high functioning and high performing people can and do have," said Martin Evers, associate director of behavioral health at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York state.

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