Post image for Catherine Zeta-Jones diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Catherine Zeta-Jones diagnosed with bipolar disorder

by Adam Russett on April 14, 2011

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who starred in films such as The Legend of Zorro and Traffic and Entrapment, has recently been checked into a mental health clinic for bipolar disorder II, according to CNN. The news comes at a time just three months after her husband, Michael Douglas, managed to overcome his struggle with throat cancer.

"After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her bipolar II disorder," Zeta-Jones' rep told the news source. "She's feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films."

Douglas' battle with cancer may have had something to do with it – ABC News reports that the trying period was when Zeta-Jones became prone to irritability and mood swings. The symptoms could have been exacerbated by a court battle against Douglas' former wife, who is suing for some of the profits from royalties to the actor's movie "Wall Street."

Dr. Igor Galynker told the news source that stress can trigger bipolar disorder II.

"It is not curable, but it is treatable with medications and psychotherapy." he said. "People with bipolar illness can have productive lives like anybody else, once they're in treatment and compliant with treatment."

He speculates that Catherine Zeta-Jones' experience with the condition could bring more awareness to public light.

The Mayo Clinic states that bipolar disorder II is less severe than bipolar disorder I. The former is characterized by hypomania, during which moods can swing from elation to depression to anger. Periods of depression last longer than those experienced by sufferers of bipolar disorder I.

The disorder usually goes through phases. Experts suggest that recognizing the disorder is the first step toward effective treatment. 

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