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Inside Catherine Zeta-Jones' bipolar struggle

Sara McGinnis is a slightly mossy Northwest gal living in an otherwise all-male household. She contributes to both the BabyCenter Blog and SheKnows Entertainment, and is a fan of Twitter and Facebook friends. When not tethered to wifi...

Jones: 'No shame in seeking help'

Catherine Zeta-Jones' bipolar treatment news shocked the public weeks ago. Now the actress, wife of actor Michael Douglas and mother of two, is encouraging others suffering from bipolar II disorder to seek help.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is speaking out about her struggles with bipolar II disorder. The 41-year-old actress confessed to People magazine: "This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them."

Her reason for opening up? Helping other people with bipolar disorder. "If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help."

A source described as close to Catherine Zeta-Jones sheds light on her struggle with bipolar II in the weeks leading up to the star seeking treatment. "The simple things would just seem overwhelming, like going out to dinner," says the friend. "There was just a little piece of her chipped away. It was hard to watch because I knew how hard she was trying."

Bipolar II disorder is a mental illness that an estimated six million Americans are dealing with. The illness is generally marked by elevated or irritable moods alternating with periods of depression. In Catherine Zeta-Jones' case, the mental illness consisted of prolonged periods of depression alternating with episodes of mild mania.

We're thrilled to see Catherine Zeta-Jones speak publicly, rather than trying to hide her bipolar II illness. Here's hoping that more people will be encouraged to seek help because of Catherine Zeta-Jones' bravery!

More on stars seeking help:

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