There is no need to suffer silently
by Leigh-Ann Renz, 6.5.13
According to ABC News, Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was recently diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. In our celebrity-centered culture, knowing that a star has battled a mental illness can be greatly encouraging and provide hope. Whether or not you use this info to help inspire a client, it certainly confirms that no one is exempt from bipolar struggles. Perhaps if more celebrities and members of our individual communities were open about mental health issues, it would take away some of the stigma, highlight the need for awareness and empower people to seek help.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by wild mood swings between euphoria & depression and can be triggered by stress. In Catherine’s case, the intensity of caring for her husband Michael Douglas’ stage IV throat cancer while they battled his first wife over movie proceeds brought on her bout with bipolar II, a form of the disorder in which the depressive periods are longer. “I try to 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”.
ABC News consultant Howard Bragman says Zeta-Jones’ public announcement of her condition may help others seek help for their own mental health. “No matter what the reason it was courageous on her part to own this to such a specificity,” Bragman said. “I think it will create a teachable moment in a dialogue among health care people, among normal people.”
“If my revelation has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no shame in seeking help”, says Catherine who checked into a mental health facility to receive treatment.
Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing and Business Development Director for PIMSY EMR