A representative for Catherine Zeta-Jones confirmed in April that the actress underwent inpatient treatment for bipolar II disorder at a Connecticut mental health facility. Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depression, is typically lifelong and recurrent, said David J. Miklowitz, a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Some people have their first episode in childhood, others later in life; the majority are during the teen years. Some people experience episodes every few years; others are in and out of episodes constantly. People with bipolar II swing from severe depression to a milder and briefer manic state called hypomania. Usual treatments for bipolar II include medications and psychotherapy. In general, a patient with bipolar II might be hospitalized because outpatient interventions didn't work and time away from stressors is needed to tweak medications or treatment plans. "One thing we know that we didn't know 20 years ago is that it's affected by stress," Miklowitz said.
Evan Agostini / Associated Press
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