Catherine Zeta Jones concealed depression from Michael

Catherine Zeta Jones concealed depression from Michael

By Liz Lockhart

Catherine Zeta Jones hid her recently reported bipolar 11 disorder from her husband Michael Douglas it has been reported.

It has been widely published that her depression was triggered by Michael’s battle with throat cancer but according to the actor says that his wife managed to conceal this condition from him for a long time before she sought help.

He said: ‘It’s hard for your wife to say ‘I’m depressed’ you know’.  ‘It’s probably been going on for a while.  But I wasn’t really aware of it.  You know Catherine and Brits in general – Catherine is Welsh, you never see them in bad spirits right?  They always give the stiff upper lip, carry on and this and that.’

Michael goes on to say  ‘I’m really proud of her.  There are some great medications out there now for people, its an issue that affects a lot of people’.

Michael and Catherine have two children Dylan, 10 and eight year old Carys but Michael says that they do not know about their mothers condition because it came so soon after their father’s illness.

He said on the US talk show ‘The View’  ‘No, they don’t know yet.  We gotta give them a chance, they’re just getting over the other issues’.

Michael went on the say ‘Of course the hardest part is not the kids at the school, it’s the parents of the kids, you never know how much they’re sharing with their children.’

The fact that Catherine was so open about her Bipolar disorder is very welcome.  Mental health issues have, for too long, been hidden and swept under the carpet.  The fact that she kept her problem hidden from her husband seems to reflect the care that she holds for him at his very difficult time and not any kind of embarrassment that she had this disorder. 

It is hardly surprising that she felt depressed when her husband and the father of her children had been so ill.  I hope that everyone has the same treatment and medication options available to them and that it is not just the domain of the rich and famous.

A note of caution though – a friend of mine recently went to the doctors with a sinus infection.  Whilst discussing her symptoms she mentioned that she had recently lost her mother, moved house and had a major falling out with one of her children. 

The doctor suggested that she should take anti-depressants rather antibiotics.  My friend – quite a feisty lady – was horrified ‘No thank you’ she said ‘I think I have every right to feel a bit low at the moment.  I am fed up with this feel-good society.  I have earned my tears and I feel that it is natural to shed them and not to mask my emotions chemically’.

This is reminder to us all that depression is an illness, different to feeling a bit low or reacting normally to difficult events – please see our depression guide for further help and information.

For our report on Catherine's Bipolar disorder please see here.

Please see here for more information on bipolar disorder

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