Catherine Zeta-Jones seeks treatment for bipolar disorder

His glum expression said it all. Michael Douglas couldn't keep his distress hidden as it emerged wife Catherine Zeta-Jones had been treated for manic depression over the stress of his battle against cancer. The 41-year-old actress was admitted last Wednesday to the Silver Hill psychiatric hospital, where she reportedly shared a ward with alcoholics and drug addicts.
She stayed for five days, joining ten to 15 others in the £770-a-day detox centre at the hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her publicist confirmed that she had received mental health treatment to help her cope with her traumatic personal life. ‘After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her bipolar II disorder,’ she said. ‘She’s feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on two upcoming films.’
Douglas, with whom she has two young children, last year battled stage four throat cancer, enduring both chemotherapy and radiation. The 66-year-old, who was today seen shopping for groceries in New York, announced in January that doctors had declared him free of cancer following six months of gruelling treatment. The actor accompanied his ‘emotionally distraught’ wife as she checked into the hospital under the name Terrie Kirny, the National Enquirer magazine claimed.
A witness at the hospital told the magazine that the Welsh-born actress, who was made a CBE in February, appeared ‘happy’ during her stay. She apparently joined fellow guests for meals, jogs around the grounds and even poker sessions before bed. Miss Zeta-Jones often appeared to be on edge in public during Douglas’s treatment for throat cancer. She was close to tears at New York’s John F Kennedy airport after she reportedly cut short a visit to the UK when her husband’s conditioned worsened. In February, she flew into a rage at a photographer in London, claiming he hit her as she and Douglas returned to their hotel after dinner.
The Enquirer also quoted an observer who said she had ‘really put the red wine away’ during two recent visits with Douglas to a Manhattan restaurant. Miss Zeta-Jones claimed in 2004 that a stalker’s threats against her left her so shaken that she feared she would have a nervous breakdown. The Enquirer quotes a family source as saying: ‘It’s been the most difficult year of her life. She’s been through hell! The pressure has been almost unbearable.’ Claiming that the actress had suffered ‘more sleepless nights than you could possibly know’ worrying about her husband, the source added: ‘Catherine had a lot of trouble coping. She was chain-smoking and drinking.
‘It was tearing Catherine apart to see such a vital man as Michael in such a weakened state. I think she was crumbling.’ Miss Zeta-Jones said as much in an interview last September in which she spoke of the pain of watching her husband dealing with cancer and her ‘fury’ that doctors did not spot it earlier. The couple’s stress levels will not have been helped by moves this week by Douglas’s first wife, Diandra, to revive her court battle for a share of his Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps earnings.
Her camp pressed a judge to reconsider his view that the case belongs in California. The couple divorced there in 2000 after 23 years together. His lawyer said her client's ex 'should be ashamed of herself' for seeking more when she had already received more than $51 million in their divorce settlement. Douglas' adult son Cameron, from his marriage to Diandra, was sentenced to prison last year on drug charges. Zeta-Jones and Douglas are parents to son Dylan, 10, and daughter Carys, who turns eight on April 20. The actress' upcoming film projects include Playing the Field, a comedy starring Gerard Butler, Dennis Quaid Jessica Biel, and Dali, a biopic with Antonio Banderas.

A traumatic event,  stress, illness, death, or a job loss can sometimes cause symptoms of the mood-altering illness. Experts say patients experience both elevated moods - which may lead to bouts of increased activity - as well as episodes of depression.
Unlike bipolar I, the 'up' moods do not  reach full-on levels of mania. Rather than descending into deep depressions, patients can be very outgoing, functional and often more productive than normal, one reason why it often goes undiagnosed. People in a hypomanic state also often have a decreased need for sleep. They are also said to be at a higher risk of committing suicide.
Celebrities who have reportedly battled various forms of bipolar disorder have included Britney Spears, Stephen Fry and Charlie Sheen.
Researchers believe that bipolar disorder may be caused in part by an imbalance in any or all of the brain chemicals norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.  It is treatable with medication.