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Catherine Zeta-Jones Struggles with Bipolar II Disorder

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Reports say that Catherine Zeta-Jones has been treated for a mental health disorder. This well-known actress is often thought of as being a strong individual. She plays leading roles in movies, she is viewed as having her life together, and she has been recognized for caring for her husband, actor Michael Douglas, as he battled throat cancer last year. Even with rumors of mental health problems in the past, she has remained constant through it all. But as fans have seen this week, mental illness can happen to anyone, and recognizing it and getting treatment is important.

Characteristics of Bipolar II

Zeta-Jones was admitted into a Connecticut mental health facility where she was treated for bipolar II disorder. This disorder, like bipolar I, is characterized by cycling episodes of a happy “high” feeling, and a low, depressed feeling. Bipolar II is the less severe of the two types, with the highs not becoming full blown manic episodes. Rather, the times of happiness are called hypomanic episodes. These are when the patient is happy, has more energy, and is often social and fun to be around. However, in all bipolar patients, the high is followed by a low, when getting out of bed is difficult, and the person suffers from depression. These episodes can last anywhere from days to years. Bipolar is usually detected when the depressive episodes keep the person from normal daily functions.

Bipolar disorder can affect anyone. Nearly 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from bipolar – 25% of the population. It can and does affect children, but most people are diagnosed in their late teens or early 20s with it. It does seem to have some genetic link, so that people with bipolar disorder in their immediate family are at greater risk for it themselves.

Bipolar disorder tends to get worse if not treated. It also can manifest itself more when the individual is under stress. Serious cases of bipolar disorder have left people debilitated and driven them to harm themselves or others.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Treatment is important for this disorder. Treatment can be inpatient or outpatient, depending on the severity of the case and the program offered by the facility. Psychotherapy is beneficial for bipolar disorder. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and tranquilizers are used as well.

Because of the actions of Catherine Zeta-Jones, the public will become more educated about bipolar disorder. It is important for people to recognize the symptoms and to seek treatment when necessary. Reports say that Catherine Zeta-Jones is doing well and will be able to start work again soon. She, no doubt, gives hope to others struggling with this disorder.


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Bethany Winkel

This article was written by Bethany Winkel

Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.