Catherine Zeta-Jones: 'There Is No Need To Suffer Silently'

Catherine Zeta-Jones on the cover of People magazine's May 2, 2011 issue Catherine Zeta-Jones on the cover of People magazine's May 2, 2011 issue

Catherine Zeta-Jones is speaking out following her recent diagnosis of bipolar II disorder and a stay at a mental health facility.

“This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them,” the 41-year-old actress told People for the magazine’s new cover story. “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.”

Even before opening up to People, Zeta-Jones was already positively affecting others by going public with her personal challenges.

Teen queen Demi Lovato – who recently spoke out about her own struggles with depression and self-harm – took to Twitter to praise the veteran actress’ courageous decision to seek help,

“I don’t know Catherine Zeta-Jones personally but what she has decided to do [is] SO brave,” Demi Tweeted last week. “And SO difficult but worth it… I’m proud of her.”

According to the mag, the Oscar winner sought treatment earlier this month at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn.

A friend of the actress told the mag that husband Michael Douglas’s cancer battle took its toll on the mother of two.

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

In January, Douglas told Access Hollywood that his cancerous throat tumor was gone, saying, “I’m back…my tumor is gone…but I probably won’t be clicking my heels for another two or three months.”

Douglas’ good health news was a respite for the family after Cameron Douglas (who is Zeta-Jones’ step son), was sentenced in April 2010, to five years in prison, the result of pleading guilty to drug charges.

Despite the actress’ struggles, she was spotted back at work on Wednesday in Louisiana, where she is shooting her first movie in two years, “Playing the Field,” with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Uma Thurman.

In more Zeta-Jones news, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress is in final negotiations to join the big screen version of musical, “Rock of Ages,” in the role of the movie’s villain.

Director Adam Shankman described the character as, “if Tipper Gore and Anita Bryant had a love child. She is this hardcore, moral majority, arch-conservative who wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles.”

“It’s like the musical gods just blessed us!” he said of Zeta-Jones.

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