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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank you Catherine Zeta-Jones

As of now just about anyone who has turned on the TV, listened to the radio or so much as walked through the checkout at the supermarket knows that Cathrine Zeta-Jones was admitted in to a mental health facility for treatment. Although initial reports said "Alcohol Problem" a spokesperson has now made it clear that while she has been receiving treatment it is NOT for alcohol.

Instead, she was hospitalized for her BiPolar II condition. As a person suffering with BiPolar II, I know how difficult this illness can make simply getting out of bed. But the hardest part of living with BiPolar Disorder (BPD) is when others find out. You get the "Oh, your crazy" look and the "I'm sorry" comments. Most people hear "BiPolar" and think "Nutbag!" Or they see someone like Charlie Sheen ranting and raving and assume that if you aren't acting the part you are simply faking the condition or making it up.

I have never been afraid of being honest about my condition. But I don't usually introduce myself as "Hi, I'm Sabrina, the BiPolar Girl" either. When it comes up, I'm honest about it. Fortunately for me, it doesn't come up often though!

I have been hospitalized twice, medicated quite a few times and in and out of therapy since I was a child. BUT, at the moment I'm exploring some more natural options of dealing with my condition.

Anyways, the whole point here is simply to say how thankful I am the Catherine Zeta-Jones has not only sought the treatment she needs, but that she is willing to be open and honest about it. Like most mental conditions BPD is greatly misunderstood by the vast majority of the population. Because of that, many people who could benefit from treatment, avoid it so they don't have to admit they have a problem to their friends, family and co-workers. Left unchecked and untreated BPD can lead to everything from basic depression to eating disorders and even to suicide.

Thanks to her honesty about her condition, and her willingness to make that condition public, many people will be able to be helped! Already I'm hearing people ask "What is BiPolar Disorder," "What triggers it" and "Who can be affected?" Like most conditions of this type it takes a high profile case to open minds and doors. Through her willingness to speak out, the stigma around BPD is lifted slightly more and information will flood through the news and in to the hands of those who may need it.

So this is my THANK YOU Catherine Zeta-Jones! Thank you from all of us suffering each day in silence! Your openness about your treatment will save lives!

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