Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bipolar disorder treatment is related to Gerard Butler

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Yesterday, many of us were stunned at the news that Catherine Zeta Jones is bipolar, and that she was being treated for the disorder at a mental health clinic. I said yesterday that I hadn’t heard a whiff of anything regarding Zeta, but some of you reminded me that I had, in fact, heard a few stories. Nothing too bad, and nothing that I didn’t explain away at the time as simple “Oh, she’s on vacation” or “She must be tired.” But yes, over the past year, we’ve had lots of photos of Catherine chain-smoking and looking pretty drunk and out-of-it, and yes, looking back on some of the stories of her being “tired” and “out of it” were probably bipolar-related. Anyway, People Magazine – who broke the story – has another article up about Zeta and Michael:

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.”

A Famous Example

In sharing her experience, the actress put a very public face on a mental illness experienced by millions. The key indicator of bipolar II, experts say, is a cycle of high and low moods, often with episodes of depression.

Zeta-Jones herself has described her bouts with melancholy, telling The Sunday Times in the U.K. that “I’m lucky. … But that’s not to say I don’t get down on myself. I try and stay positive, being negative isn’t good for my personality. I don’t just bring myself down, I bring everyone around me down. It’s like a dark cloud, ‘Uh oh, here we go’, and I have to snap out of it.”

Dr. David Miklowitz, professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, says stress “definitely can play a role” in triggering depression or what doctors call hypomania, short periods of mild manias.

“Certain life events, changes, particularly those that affect the sleep cycle, can trigger symptoms,” says Miklowitz. “An event like a loss experience or family conflict can be a cause or a trigger of bipolar episodes.”

Carrie Fisher

Another celebrity knows the feeling. Carrie Fisher, who has laid bare own battles with weight, drugs and alcohol, and also revealed that several years ago she was diagnosed with bipolar II, has described the challenges of the mood swings that come with it.

“A manic phase is not predictable,” Fisher has said, according to USA Today. “The last time, I hacked off my hair, got a tattoo, and wanted to convert to Judaism.”

Perhaps most important, though, is that sufferers can – and many do – manage the disorder effectively, many times with various medications. Now that she’s checked out of treatment, Zeta-Jones can get back to her everyday life – being an actress. She has two new movies coming up, including Playing the Field, currently in production in Louisiana with Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel, and Lay the Favorite.

Adds the friend, Zeta-Jones’s decision to seek treatment was a positive step that will allow her to perform at the best of her ability.

“She went in for a few days because she’s about to start working, and to make sure she’s in top form,” says the friend, “which she is.”

[From People]

Um… Catherine Zeta-Jones is in Playing the Field? With Gerard Butler?!? I’m calling it: Gerard Butler instigated this current breakdown, probably after he and Zeta had some kind of torrid one night stand. My theory is solid. (Except I don’t think they’ve worked together yet, but nevermind!)

A note about the photos on this post and yesterday’s: I swear to God, I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just using some of the most recent photos we have of Catherine. Her eyes take on a different meaning in retrospect.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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44 Responses to “Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bipolar disorder treatment is related to Gerard Butler”

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  1. brin says:

    Kaiser, your love for our Gerry is taking a strange and paranoid turn. Maybe you need a short vacation. I will tend to Gerry while you get some needed rest.

  2. embertine says:

    Did you deliberately pick photos to make her look as mental as possible? Poor form, Kaiser, poor form.

  3. Quest says:

    I got all choked-up when I saw this headline. Still recovering.

    Brin, I would gladly render Gerry the helping hands he needs while Kaiser rest up.

  4. Eve says:

    That’s a Dick Dastardly’s smile in the third picture.

  5. Kaiser says:

    embertine – Did you read what I wrote in the post? These are the most recent photos we have of her. I had to go back to the Golden Globes photos to find pics of her without crazy eyes.

  6. Kaboom says:

    Now those are really mad cow kind of pictures you dug up there.

  7. Sigh. says:

    These aren’t even the worst pics of that bunch. I have seen ones where she is clearly screaming at someone, mouth opened wiiiide.

    I can’t and won’t pin that on any mental duress or long-standing issues, though. The paps can, will, and do provoke to the point of pending violence, just for the shot.

  8. Isabel says:

    Oh man, I hope she was just…really full of coffee…or had new contacts in…or…poor lady :(

    I do love that she doesn’t have impossibly delicate hands like so many of the prettier women in Hollywood have. She sort of has blunt hands like me. Yay.

  9. jennifer says:

    After she had her kids she mentioned having PPD and having to take anti-anxiety meds for it so this didn’t surprise me at all. I’m impressed that she recognized the problem and is getting help…you know..instead of having a suitcase of coke delivered and going on a bender. But that’s me :) I had PPD after my daughter was born and deal with it when it pops back up. I’ve always liked CZJ.

  10. Miss Marie says:

    I don’t think CZJ or Michael Douglas are two of the nicest people around. That said, karma is a bitch.

  11. RHONYC says:

    uh, related like what…cousins? ;-)

  12. wtf? says:

    Gerard Butler makes a lot of women bi-polar just check the comments on his fan sites..lol

    seriously, hope CZJ feels better soon and gets back to work on PTF….i know Butler said he would be James Bond only if CZJ was with him in the movie….they would make a great screen duo

  13. jamie says:

    poor thing.she’s had a rough year

  14. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    Well…..Ok

  15. TG says:

    Bring on the Crazy Eyes Kaiser! I have always liked her in movies and I don’t know much about her or Michael so hope she gets well.

  16. Photo JoJo says:

    I personally would like to hear when she was diagnosed, since having a first episode in one’s 40′s is NOT common. Both my kids have bipolar disorder, as do several family members. I was really glad to see the frank nature of her press release, I’d just like it if she will come out, after she’s stabilized, and talk about her history with mental illness. It really can set a great example of how functional people with mental illness really CAN be. I wish her all the best.

  17. NJMDPS says:

    Yes, she…..her husband….has had a very difficult year. Granted. But HELLOOOOOO….who among us have not had the hardship of experiencing major health issues either personally or with a loved one…..while most of us survived without all the help/assistance Ms. Jones has had blessings and good fortune to have. I am not a CZJ hater. I rather like her. But please do not make her out to be a martyr in this ordeal. Prayers for Michael.

  18. smith says:

    Wow I thought the first pic was wax museum CZJ. I’m still not convinced it’s not.

    I hope she gets the rest and help she needs, but I’m sorry, those aren’t the hands of a 41 year old.

    I know she claimed 37 for about 4 years though …

  19. Catherine says:

    Great pics to convey ‘craziness’. Not the most respectful , but whatever.

    I wish her the best.

  20. bluhare says:

    Bipolar can go into “remission” and she may have had it under control for quite a while — being happy in her marriage could do it. It’s exactly what happened to me; it was quiet in my 30′s and kicked up again in my 40′s and I’m convinced menopause kicked it back in. I feel for her.

  21. anne_000 says:

    kaiser, i always LOVE LOVE LOVE your pics no matter what. if u say you didnt pick these particular pics out to be mean, then i believe you. so just ignore the others’ criticisms, you’re doing a great job!

  22. Kat says:

    Bipolar is a beast of a disorder to have, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Never was much of a CZJ fan, but I have a lot of respect for her for going public with her own struggles. I hope she’s feeling better soon.

  23. junipergreen says:

    This is nitpicky probably, but please stop using crazy-eyed pictures on purpose when writing about someone with mental illness. It’s insulting and perpetuates stereotypes that are not true. Bipolar does not necessarily (or usually) equal crazy. This bugged me yesterday on this story, but I didn’t say anything…but today you did it again and it kind of bothered me.

    I really don’t mean to be nitpicky. Sorry.

  24. bluhare says:

    Juniper. Yes, you do mean to be nitpicky. Esp. when Kaiser’s already said she didn’t pick them out to be mean; they’re the most recent.

  25. Rosanna says:

    About the pics being used: I’ve seen crazy eyed pics of just about any person that either Kaiser or CB didn’t like – so it’s not a treatment of favor toward CZJ or people with mental illness.

    As a matter of fact a lot of famous people have bipolar – it’s hard to have but it’s not an excuse for failing in life. Just like any other chronic illness, at times it’s very hard to take whereas other times it’s almost absent. Ultimately life is what one makes of it, with or without an illness.

    I have bipolar I – and a bunch of autoimmune disorders which take a far heavier toll on me than bipolar but still are no excuse for failure.

  26. Tazina says:

    Why pick these bug eyed photos? So what they’re her latest ones. Mental illness is not something to be ridiculed. Is that why you picked these particular photos? Like she’s some kind of crazy person and you’re having a little fun with it.

  27. JenJen says:

    Some people need to lighten up, it’s a gossip site!

  28. Nikki says:

    in that 1st pic…
    what is up with her H A N D S!

  29. Dana says:

    Was CZJ always crazy? Diandra must be dancing in the street.

  30. Estella says:

    Just to clarify, bipolar II is different than standard bipolar disorder. It’s like “Bipolar Lite” and has been the “in” diagnosis in psych circles for several years now. When you look at the symptoms, any female with severe PMS could be bipolar II at certain times of the month.

    I personally think CZJ is an alcoholic. But she does have crazy eyes in these pics.

  31. Whitey Fisk says:

    Can anyone explain why so many people are offended by her eyes? Both certain illnesses and also many medications can cause eye symptoms. Widely opened eyes and/or rapid blinking can indicate an anxious, excited, or “manic” state.

    If we found out she had cancer and Kaiser posted photos of her looking drawn and weak, would there be such outrage? Bipolar disorder is a physiological disease. It causes certain symptoms. Just because some of us don’t feel comfortable with the display of those symptoms doesn’t mean they’re inherently shameful, embarrassing, or controllable.

    Coincidentally, have I already shared the obscure theory of “sanpaku” here? The sclera being visible above the iris is sometimes called “reverse sanpaku” which is supposedly indicative of extreme illness.

  32. gozeta! says:

    There is nothing ‘in’ about having bi-polar II disorder and, uh, it is a little more than pms… I’m thinking that the person who wrote that comment must be one of ‘those’ people who cover up their prejudice against individuals with mental health challenges by saying psych meds are unnecessary and psychiatric illnesses are ‘all in our minds’… ugh… get educated.

  33. Estella says:

    @gozeta

    I am not a psychiatrist but I am aware that bipolar II is being overdiagnosed just like adhd. It isn’t “in” to me but it seems to be an absurd focus of the psych community. That was my point, which you seriously misinterpreted.

    Additionally, this is a gossip site called “Celebitchy.” Try to relax and roll with it.

  34. Vesper says:

    @ Estella – Bipolar II is not the “in diagnosis”, nor is it comparable to severe PMS or alchoholism. Next time do some research before u make such ignorant comments.

    @ Smith – I totally agree…those are not the hands of a 41 year old. I’d add about 7-8 years.

  35. Trashaddict says:

    Speaking of “bug eyes” I hope to god they’ve checked her thyroid. Hyperthyroid can give you buggy eyes and can make you irritable.

  36. mln76 says:

    @Whiskey Fink I have heard of the theory of sanpaku it’s interesting but I have no idea if it’s accurate cuz I don’t go around measuring peoples eyeballs :)

  37. gozeta! says:

    @ Estella

    I work in the mental health field and if anything the stigma of having a mental health diagnosis like bi-polar or schizophrenia has made these illnesses under-diagnosed. People with these illnesses often fall through the cracks either because they seek to self medicate or because they themselves, their family, or friends are simply too scared/embarrassed/afraid to seek help. I have never heard of bi-polar being over-diagnosed although maybe we live in very different social climates.

    I did get a little mouthy, but seriously as a mental health professional and someone who has dealt with mental health issues in my family I get so pissed off at the ignorance around this issue. It’s like if you heard that CTZ had checked herself into a hospital for radiation treatment because she had breast cancer would you EVER make a comment like “oh, why did she do that, I have heard that breast cancer is way over diagnosed.” Probably not because this totally dis-credits her illness and experience. So why would you say this because she has bi-polar????

    Anyhow, as to the comment about this just being a gossip blog why the hell am I getting riled up about this… read the slogan of this blog!!!!! Escapism can be smart!!!!!

  38. gozeta! says:

    Oh and props to CTZ for taking care of herself and having the bravery to share what she has been going through!!!

  39. GradStudentEatingHotPockets says:

    @gozeta
    I was watching the news yesterday morning and the anchors were commenting on CZJ. One of the anchors made a comment like, “Wow! I Didn’t even know there were TWO kinds of bipolar! But she hid it well because I didn’t see her do crazy, Charlie Sheen stuff in the media.” The psychiatrist, who was a guest on the show, was like “Yeah…because Bipolar II is characterized more by overwhelming depression instead of mania, so you wouldn’t see her act like that.”

    The anchor then said, “Well she’s lucky that we don’t have stigma about mental health disorders anymore!” The psychiatrist dropped his jaw. hahaha

  40. Bill Hicks is God says:

    She is lucky…lucky she’s not a Bipolar I.

    I wish her well with her struggle. I am glad she’s made this public because it will make such a difference in terms of public perception of mental illness and mood disorders in particular that too many people slough off as imaginary, malingering or an excuse for wack behaviour.

    Brava!

  41. Kim123 says:

    I just watched her acceptance speech from the Tony’s last year and she appeared manic.

  42. Regine says:

    I feel for her and am also so impressed that she made this information public. Mental illness is so highly stigmatized in our culture, so bravo to her raising awareness.

  43. Crash2GO2 says:

    “It’s like if you heard that CTZ had checked herself into a hospital for radiation treatment because she had breast cancer would you EVER make a comment like “oh, why did she do that, I have heard that breast cancer is way over diagnosed.””

    Actually, one could make that comment if cancer was regularly being misdiagnosed or ‘over’ diagnosed if such a thing were possible for cancer.

    It’s the difficulty inherent in diagnosing mental conditions vs blatant physical conditions that are the differences here, not the poster’s attitude about the illness IMO.

  44. Jag says:

    LOL Those pictures are priceless. Naughty Kaiser. ;)

    Brava to her for telling the world she’s bipolar. Now maybe some people will see it in a different light because Zeta-Jones isn’t known for anything but good work ethic and maybe being a bit uppity. She’s always shown class and courtesy in the interviews I’ve seen. The outbursts or whatever in the past year could’ve been because of what her husband is going through and could’ve had nothing to do with her being bipolar.

    Good luck to her. I’m bipolar I, which is a bit different, but know how hard it can be.

    @Rosanna ~ I, too, have autoimmune disorders, mainly pernicious anemia. Best wishes.