Bipolar symptoms can vary from person to person. For Catherine Zeta-Jones, the symptoms were severe enough for her to go to a hospital for treatment. Although Zeta-Jones is now out of the hospital and seemingly okay, the news showed how recent events have greatly affected her. With husband Michael Douglas battling cancer, the Oscar-winning actress struggled to endure, until she had to take a much-needed step back.
Zeta-Jones’ representative revealed to People Mazagine that she had checked herself into a mental health facility for five days. While her struggles weren’t a secret to friends and family, this was the first time the world found out that she has Bipolar II disorder.
Symptoms vary, as there are four different types of bipolar disorder. Type II is defined by depression, and is often misdiagnosed as such. But when sufferers are up, they experience “hypomania” which can get more severe if not treated. Yet since the actress was able to detect it and get help, it serves as a promising sign.
It was clear to all that the recent events of her life had to be taking a toll. Husband Michael Douglas has been undergoing a long and difficult fight with Stage 4 cancer, yet he was declared to be cancer-free in January. But even though Douglas seems to be on the mend, the six months of chemotherapy and radiation were filled with uncertainty.
Now it is Zeta-Jones’ turn to have an illness under the spotlight, although it is far less severe. The symptoms for Bipolar II are manageable, as Johns Hopkins Medical School professor Dr. Thomas Wise told CBS News that such people ‘”generally continue to function.” If she had Type I, however, then she would be more at risk for debilitating mood swings, which can even trigger suicidal thoughts.
The disorder’s other two types are bipolar not otherwise specified, and cyclothymia, which is a milder form. Type II is more common with women, although the symptoms can merely be “a little annoying to others,” according to Dr. Wise.
Now that Zeta-Jones is being treated for the disorder, and Douglas is on the mend as well, the two look to get back to their normal routine. Zeta-Jones is even starting work on two new movies this week, according to her rep, while Douglas is preparing to play Liberace in an upcoming biopic.
Their struggles with their diseases is far from over, however, as they can return at any time. Although bipolar disorder and cancer are two different afflictions, it takes life-long treatment and attention to hold both back. But both mega stars are on the mend, and in a much better place at the moment, as the worst of this current rough patch appears to be over.
People Magazine- “Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated for Bipolar Disorder”
Telegraph- “What is bipolar II?”
CBS News- “Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bipolar disorder: How severe?”
PubMed Health- “Cyclothymic disorder”