Last Wednesday, a representative for Catherine Zeta-Jones publicly confirmed the award-winning actress recently sought in-patient treatment for Bipolar II Disorder at Silver Hill Hospital near New Canaan, Connecticut.

Bipolar II Disorder is similar to Bipolar I Disorder in that it is a mood disorder characterized by fluctuations between feelings of mania (the “highs”) and depression (the “lows”). The difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II is that people with Bipolar II Disorder typically don’t reach full-on mania. Instead, they’ll experience hypomania, which is a less-intense elevated mood.

According to Catherine’s representative:

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’s feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films. (People)

The statement isn’t exactly clear as to whether Catherine had already been diagnosed with Bipolar II before her treatment at Silver Hill Hospital, since the representative did identify it as “her Bipolar II Disorder,” but thus far people seem to be treating it as a new development. One of her friend’s has spoken about the difficult year Catherine has had, and Demi Lovato (who only recently left a treatment center herself) tweeted her support:

I don’t know Catherine Zeta-Jones personally but what she has decided to do it [sic] SO brave.. And SO difficult but worth it… I’m proud of her

Whether Catherine was recently diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder or has been dealing with the mental illness for years isn’t relevant; what is relevant is that she recognized she needed help and sought that help.

Here’s to wishing her continuing mental wellness!

Learn more at Psych Central’s section on Bipolar Disorder, and visit fellow bloggers Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak at Bipolar Beat and Tom Wootton at Bipolar Advantage.

Image Credit: Lilian Anna Riashi per these Creative Commons Licenses.