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April 14th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Catherine Zeta-Jones bipolar disorder: Her private struggle

Sara Hammel and KC Baker
PEOPLE.com

(PEOPLE.com) - Walking the red carpet at New York City's Museum of Modern Art this week, Michael Douglas was feeling grateful for all the well wishes he'd received from friends and fans as he battled cancer.

"I feel great!" the actor, 66, told PEOPLE at Tuesday night's event to celebrate Carnegie Hall's 120th anniversary. "I feel a tremendous amount of support from so many people."

Absent from the event was his biggest supporter: wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. Hours later, it was revealed that she has quietly sought healing of her own. Her rep says the actress recently checked into a facility for a few days to treat her bipolar II disorder.

The revelation was surprising to many, not least because the Oscar-winning actress and mom-of-two stayed steadfastly positive in public while sticking by Douglas's side through a grueling six-month battle with cancer.

But behind the scenes, those close to the actress say she felt the strain. Her rep acknowledged the timing of Zeta-Jones, 41, seeking treatment was in part connected to "the stress of the past year."

Adds a friend, "Catherine has had to deal with Michael's illness, and that's been hard."

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. sally

    Hey Anderson your List made me LOL which is good cause I'm a little flat in my BiPolar 2 ride. The mania is wonderful, but the severe depression is like a pit of hell a dark dark place where there's no hope of escaping now there's the rub.whether to fight or let go.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  2. Terry

    While I think that calling attention to mental health diagnoses, and the stigma with which people with mental health disorders must cope, is important, referring to a neurosurgeon (Sangay Gupta) as if he were an expert in mental health diagnosis and treatment is irresponsible – and offensive. It's somewhat like asking a dentist to speak on neurosurgery. A psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse or mental health counselor would be the appropriate professional to speak on issues related to mental health disorders, diagnosis and treatment as they are much more educated in, experienced with and, therefore, comfortable speaking for people with these challenges.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  3. Jim

    I was thrilled to see this fantastic coverage by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. As a Bipolar sufferer I keep this disorder to myself, as Dr. Gupta mentioned, due to the stigma. My condition is treated with medication and I lead a fairly normal life. Perhaps with more discussion of this in the national media, myself and other sufferers won't have to deal with such stigma. Thank you and God bless both Anderson and Dr. Gupta.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  4. nora slattery

    I was stunned by the lack of critical reporting in this story. As someone who has lived with a family member affected by Manic Depression or Bi-Polar as its called now, I simply do not see what a 5-day check in into a mental hospital would mean. This is a long term problem, and not one to be solved with a detox-like approach. Shame on Catherine Zeta-Jones for taking this on as her cause, or explaining a hospital stay in such a way, and shame on you for not asking tougher questions...or at least doing your research.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm |