Thursday, April 21, 2011

Catherine Zeta-Jones is Diagnosed with Bipolar II

There is nothing courageous about Catherine Zeta-Jones admitting she suffers from bipolar II, considering how many millions of people suffer from the same disease. I am, however, glad she made her disease public, just to raise awareness of bipolar disorder to so many people who have stigmatized this disease with crazy people. Nothing further from the truth could be told.

It is unfortunate that she was diagnosed so late in life, just as I was, because who knows how many years she suffered in silence. She should be thankful she is not bipolar I, because then she would be doing battle with manic episodes that could potentially tear her apart. Instead, she suffered from deep depression and probably small bouts with hypo-mania, a mild high, which is a common manifestation for people with bipolar II.

Now that she has been properly diagnosed, she can be properly treated and not suffer so much from the mood swings that are so prevalent with this disease. Her condition does not surprise me in the least; many very creative people with high IQ’s suffer from bipolar disorder to varying degrees, some more high-functioning than others.

I have enormous respect for Catherine as an actress, woman and role model. Beyond everything else she is a devoted wife and mother of two. And the fact that she did battle with her disease for so long and maintained her composure is a true testament to her strength and character. Let’s hope that she does more to make others aware of this debilitating disease.

Jeanne Claude Van Damme, the martial artist and movie star from Brussels, was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder late in life, but not until it nearly destroyed his career and personal life. Van Damme once said that he used martial arts as a way to quell the rage and wild mood swings that are so prevalent with people who suffer from bipolar I. I can empathize completely; I did the same through 25 years of serious study of the martial arts, until I herniated two discs in my lower back, thus ending any athletic career besides yoga and meditation.

So there you have it, folks! Superstars with bipolar disorder who are not raving lunatics, but talented, productive people who have left their mark on the world in all that they do. Van Damm is doing much better now that he has found treatment, and his personal and professional lives are getting back on track. I hope Catherine Zeta-Jones also finds relief from her depression, and that she and Michael Douglas enjoy each other for years to come. I know they are very happy together—a very rare occurrence in Hollywood romances.

Love to you all!


  1. Given the stigma against psychiatric disorders in this country I believe it does take courage for anyone to publicly admit it. Pattie Duke was the first celebrity to admit it; Carrie Fisher, and Jane Pauley also suffer from bipolar disorder. Jane Pauley's was also late onset, just as Zeta-Jones'. Jim Carrey and David Letterman suffer from unipolar depression, as well. Just as "coming out of the closet" has gradually reduced the stigma attached to sexual orientation, if we admit to suffering from psychiatric disorders (Mine is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)it will gradually reduce the stigma attached. So I commend and thank everyone who admits to having a psychiatric disorder.

  2. I believe that people who are in the limelight and are role models for others, such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, have a moral obligation to publicly admit they suffer from psychological disorders.

    There are far too many misconceptions about bipolar disorder, and many famous people have suffered from it. But I can't tell you how many people have turned their backs to me when I tell them that I suffer from it as well.