Catherine Zeta-Jones: The New Face Of Bipolar Disorder
Why are we so shocked to learn that Catherine Zeta-Jones has bipolar disorder and checked herself into a mental health facility?
Because she is ravishingly beautiful, classy and charming, has a healthy sense of humor, a flair for elegant fashion, and seems to be a devoted wife and mother who handled the horribly stressful situation of her husband Michaels throat cancer with grace and fierce loyalty?
How could Catherine Zeta-Jones be the face of bipolar disorder?
Because, like cancer, brain disorders have no boundaries that limit them to those with less money, beauty, or luck. The number floated around most often is that one in four adult Americans have a mental health challenge of some kind, whether OCD, PTSD, depression, anxiety, or a more serious diagnosis like schizophrenia.
Identifying Zeta-Jones as having Bipolar Disorder II whether it was a decision she made or she was outed by a tabloid could be one of the best things that ever happened to others with Bipolar Disorder. It opens a forum for discussion and it destigmatizes an illness that is often kept secret to the detriment of those who have it and their families.
Bipolar Disorder II is not so different from other variations of Bipolar Disorder. It still involves mood swings between depression and mania. But the emphasis is on depression and the mania is not so pronounced, more of a hypomania, or below mania. In fact, it often presents as feeling optimistic, having more energy and feeling mentally sharper and more creative all attributes that would seem to characterize Zeta-Jones more accurately than bipolar.