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Catherine Zeta-Jones admits to bipolar disorder. Is she OK?

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones arrive at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, in this January 16, 2011 file photograph. Zeta-Jones sought treatment for bipolar disorder after dealing with the stress of husband Douglas's battle with advanced throat cancer, her representative said on April 13, 2011.


While culture vultures crow over signs that Charlie Sheen is wrong in the head, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has come out and admitted she has mental illness, the BBC reports.

Ms. Zeta-Jones's publicist, Cece Yorke, referred in a statement to the star's stress in dealing with her husband Michael Douglas's fight with throat cancer. Ms. Zeta-Jones recently checked into a mental-health facility for a "brief stay" to treat bipolar II disorder, Ms. Yorke said.

"She's feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films."

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Not bad for a patient who had just five days of treatment, a source told

People with bipolar II tend to have more depression and less erratic mood swings that those with other bipolar spectrum disorders, according to CNN. Even so, it's hard to believe anyone can bounce back from mental illness that fast (but, nonetheless, all the best to Ms. Zeta-Jones).

Ms. Zeta-Jones's disclosure adds to the long list of celebrities who have confessed to having mental illness - often on Oprah's couch (then there's Tom Cruise, who jumped on it instead). Brooke Shields told Oprah that postpartum depression left her suicidal. Carrie Fisher has come clean about using booze and drugs to self-medicate her bipolar disorder. And Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Ron Artest became a depression advocate after thanking his therapist after winning the 2010 championship.

In Canada, our very own Margaret Trudeau wrote the book on bipolar disorder. But have star disclosures really increased our understanding of the sufferers among us?

Do celebrity sufferers change how you feel about mental illness? Or is the stigma as strong as ever?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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