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Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones in 'Intolerable Cruelty'

More details are starting to emerge about Catherine Zeta-Jones’s battle to stave off the extreme effects of bipolar II disorder, in the wake of her husband Michael’s struggle to recover from throat cancer.

It seems the weeks leading up to her visit to Connecticut’s Silver Hill Hospital were highly stressful, as she was looking after Michael and preparing for a trip to Louisiana to take up her role in the rom-com Playing the Field.

A close friend of hers told People magazine how upsetting it was, watching her struggle: “The simple things would just seem overwhelming, like going out to dinner. There was just a little piece of her chipped away. It was hard to watch because I knew how hard she was trying.”

Catherine herself has issued a statement confirming her diagnosis and trying to put a bright side on what must be a pretty devastating situation. She said: “This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them. 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.”

Actually, it’s probably enough that YOU sought help, Catherine. No need to be selfless about it.

Do you think Catherine’s situation will have a positive effect on others? Tell us here.

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By Fraser McAlpine