Recently, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones confessed that what triggered her bipolar disorder was her husband’s illness. The “Red 2” star spoke candidly about the tough time she had when Michael Douglas received his cancer diagnosis, explaining that such news represents “a classic trigger” for the illness.
“When Michael was diagnosed with cancer I really thought, “You are going to have to wipe me off the floor”, she told UK’s Telegraph in a recent interview. But, with time, she realized that even if, at the beginning she thought she didn’t have the capacity to cope with the situation, she found new resources. ‘”The human spirit is amazing…” the 43-year-old says, adding: “Although I wasn’t as strong as I thought I could have been… I wasn’t.”
Indeed, Zeta-Jones’ efforts to cope with her husband’s cancer diagnosis have triggered a mental imbalance that she has had diagnosed: bipolar disorder. The actress was very open about the diagnosis, clarifying her condition, back in 2011. She now says that the condition “is something I have been dealing with for a long time” and the trigger for it was a classic: “When you get sideswiped like that [with Douglas’s illness] it’s an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little bit off – not sleeping, worry, stress”, she explains.
Her initial intention was not to be so open about her diagnosis, saying that she has “a British stiff-upper-lip mentality”, but then she realized that there are many people in her situation and sharing her experience would actually be helpful to others.
This year, in April, Catherine checked herself into a treatment clinic, to keep her disorder under control. She will continue to undergo treatment regularly, admitting herself to hospital from time to time, for the rest of her life.
“Together we all coped with everything. It did make us closer. But I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”