Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Catherine Zeta-Jones: Her History of Mental Illness

She is back in the news as she has went back to a treatment center for her Bipolar II disorder that is what this article says.  Another news story  says she goes in periodically for a preemptive step to ensure that she continues to be in good health.  She also was absent this past Saturday from the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner, which her husband Michael Douglass attended.  She has been candid with her mental illness.   She talks about her struggles with this disease.
She first went public about her mental illness in 2011: “After her husband, Michael Douglas, received the good news that his Stage IV throat cancer was gone that January, she couldn’t fight a lingering depression. In April of that year, she checked into a mental health facility in Connecticut and during her five-day stay there, she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, a mental illness marked by prolonged periods of depression alternating with episodes of mild mania.” It is good that she lets people know that she has this disease.  It can lessen some of the stigma associated with mental illness.
It is a disease a lot of us do not understand because we have never went through it or understand going through highs and lows I would guess.  I know my mental illness some would not understand also.  The article goes on to talk about why she discloses:  “This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them,’ the actress told People at the time.’ if my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it.  There is no shame in seeking help.’”  That is encouraging to people to get help if she can so can others.  I know from experience the shame was on me.  It was hard to face my old friends even though they did not know what I was going through.
My breakdown came in prison I was already in the hole or as they call it segregation.  One if my friends were already on the other side of the cellblock that I was on.  The other friends did not know what was going on with me.  They told me they would help me though whatever I was going through.  I was taken to the hospital in Canon City.  The doctor asked where I would like to go to back to Buena Vista or where.  I told him right there behind the walls.  I did not want to go back and face my old friends.  I saw one of my friends from Buena Vista when I was out for about ten years already.  He waited until I was finished shopping at a store and came to speak to me.
He never brought up what happened just told me about his life.   I told him that I had been out about ten years and then we said goodbye.  The shame of this mental illness was mine.  Catherine Zeta-Jones says it best: “Everyone has things going on and we deal with them the best we can, ‘ she continued. ‘We can’t jump from rooftops shouting, you know, about, I have this, look at me, victim.’ No. We all have issues in life and I’m really happy that I have great friends, great support, and that’s all I can do.”  I guess I should have heard that before.  One reason I gave up all my old friends and I do not know if they would understand.  I would do anything for any of my friends that is the type of person I am.  Yes I have done time for a friend and did not snitch.  For me to go on being free I had to give them up.  A friend’s mom told me once it is not you it is your friends.  I did not understand that at the time.  How could that be they never go to jail or get in trouble just me? I am glad I read this article it is time someone lets people know they get help for a mental illness.

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