Catherine Zeta-Jones describes depression

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Catherine Zeta-Jones is opening up about her struggle with bipolar disorder. The actress recently revealed that after a stressful year helping husband Michael Douglas battle throat cancer, she found herself lapsing into depression and opted to spend five days in an in-patient treatment program.

“The simple things would just seem overwhelming, like going out to dinner,” a friend of the Oscar winner told People magazine. “There was just a little piece of her chipped away. It was hard to watch because I knew how hard she was trying.”

And Catherine wants others who are trying to manage the disorder to know that it’s OK to reach out for help.

“This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them,” the “Nine” star said in a statement. “If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no need to suffer silently, and there is no shame in seeking help.”

Bravo to that.

‘Shame’ Spiral

Speaking of stars opening up about their psychological issues, Demi Lovato has finally confirmed rumors that the “emotional problems” for which she sought in-patient treatment last year involved self-mutilation and an eating disorder.

Cutting herself, she confided on “20/20,” “was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up I didn’t know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself.”

The 18-year-old Disney star, who announced she won’t return to her popular tween sitcom “Sonny With a Chance,” said her body-image issues started at age 8 when she was bullied by schoolmates “because I was too fat. A few months later I developed an eating disorder, and that’s kind of what I’ve been dealing with ever since.”

Last fall, Demi entered treatment after being kicked off the Jonas Brothers tour (a band that includes ex-beau Joe Jonas) for punching a backup dancer — an incident she now feels “horrible” about. Looking back, she’s candid about struggling with her demons: “I was performing concerts on an empty stomach. I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating.”

Demi is now working with Seventeen magazine on an initiative to help girls who struggle with similar issues. So, again, we say bravo.

Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer and astrologer. She welcomes feedback at kitty@media-darling.com.

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