Photo Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Just days before she began working on two new films, Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental-health facility to receive treatment for bipolar disorder. Zeta-Jones, 41, has stood by husband Michael Douglas' side for the past eight months as he battled throat cancer (he announced in January that he's now cancer-free). According to Jones' rep, she just needed to focus on her own mental health for a few days.
Zeta-Jones spent about five days in treatment facility, according to a friend who spoke to People.
"There's no question it's been a stressful year," says the friend. "Catherine has had deal with Michael's illness and that's been hard. She went in for a few days because she's about to start working, and wanted to make sure she's in top form, which she is."
This is the first time the Oscar-winning actress has opened up about being treated for bipolar disorder, a common mental illness characterized by "up" and "down" periods of depression and mania. Bipolar II is distinguished by having more depressive episodes, with less frequent and extreme manic periods. Bipolar episodes can be triggered by stressful life events, as they were in Zeta-Jones' case.
Initially, Zeta-Jones' reps denied that she was being treated for mental health issues. We applaud the actress for deciding to go public with her bipolar disorder, and for spreading the message that mental health issues can affect anybody -- even the rich, famous and beautiful.