Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Bipolar Disorder and How to Spot It for Yourself

In the December issue of InStyle Magazine, 43-year-old actress Catherine Zeta-Jones opens up about her daily struggles dealing with a public diagnosis of bipolar disease. She is one of millions of people living with the mental disorder and recognize the stigma attached to it.

Bipolar disorder causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior. These cycles of dramatic changes can last for days, weeks, or even months. The mood changes are not like common mood changes we all experience. They’re usually severe episodes of mania, depression or quick switches of both. The disorder, if untreated, can cause physical and emotional harm to oneself and others.

Here are a few warning signs unique to the disorder:

  1. The symptoms always begin with dramatic and unpredictable mood swings.
  2. Feeling unusually high, extremely irritable, and reckless is usually characteristic of a manic episode. Examples include spending too much money and going unusually wild.
  3. Depressive episodes occur when that same person is now tired and hopeless with self-pity due to being wild and the now-accumulated debt.

Zeta-Jones’ public discussion is helping raise awareness for the disorder. But before you start diagnosing yourself and others, make sure you’ve got all the facts. If you notice any of the above symptoms in either you or someone you may know, contact an experienced psychiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment.

Catherine Zeta-Jones explains, “I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops. But with my bipolar disorder becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it.”