HealthlandTime recently hosted a great article, noting the treatment of Catherine Zeta-Jones for Bipolar II Disorder. Two primary things caught my eye: the first being the courage of this well-known actress to step out and share the life challenge she accepts as part of day-to-day living in her quest to remain successful, and the other – the fact that Bipolar disorder has different levels of severity.
“In announcing her illness, Zeta-Jones sheds light on the fact that some people are able to manage a successful career and a family life, along with their disorder. She also reminds us that bipolar disorder, which affects 2% to 3% of the U.S. population, exists on a spectrum, and that some forms of the illness are more severe than others.”
The article goes on in some detail about the differences between Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorder. In this discussion, Dr. Martin Evers, an outpatient psychiatrist and associate director of behavioral health at Northern Westchester Hospital is noted as stating, “The tragedy of the Bipolar II disorder is the depression. A lot of days of your life are lost.”
The article ended on an optimistic note…
“With proper treatment, however, most people with bipolar disorder can largely control their mood swings and related symptoms, reducing their severity and relapse.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people need long-term treatment including both medication and psychotherapy, because Bipolar disorder is a lifelong and recurrent illness.”
Like Zeta-Jone, I hid my Bipolar II disorder. Only thirty-five years later did I risk disclosing my illness to someone outside my family. I believe it is this “fear of discovery” that forced me to face the challenges of this demon that never sleeps. I feel compelled to share this journey in my upcoming memoir, Fear is my Co-Pilot.
In the meantime, I invite you to treat yourself to a down home, wholesome adventure. The trilogy: The Secrets of Clayton County, is a refreshing look into the “roots” of America as Sara Hunter brings a much different look at the state of bartering in small-town Iowa than the IRS expected from her!
Don Wooldridge | Author