Catherine Zeta-Jones has opened up about suffering from manic depression and bipolar disorder, hoping to eliminate the stigma around mental illness.
The Welsh actress was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder after being admitted to a mental health clinic in Connecticut 18 months ago.
Zeta-Jones, 43, spent five days in the rehabilitation hospital following months of stress while her husband, fellow actor Michael Douglas, battled Stage Four throat cancer.
“I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable,” Zeta-Jones told US InStyle magazine.
“I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.”
At her lowest point, the star said she regularly Googled her name and became obsessed with negative comments.
“The smartest thing I did was to stop going online. I’m the sort of person who will just look for the negative. Michael really can’t understand it, but that’s the way I am.
“And, with my bipolar thing, that’s poison. So I just stopped. Cold turkey. And it’s so liberating.”
She admits that the experience helped her gain an appreciation for life and strengthened her 12-year marriage to Douglas, 68. The couple have two children.
“You find out who you really are and who you are married to. You find things inside yourself you never imagined were there,” she said.
Despite the Hollywood fame, Zeta-Jones says she is now happiest with the simple things in life. “We’re country people, really. I garden and knit. I golf. We ride horses.”
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