Catherine Zeta-Jones Talks About Her Bipolar Disorder

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Catherine Zeta-Jones opens up about her battle with depression in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, saying that no one should be ashamed to seek help.

The 41-year-old actress was recently diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.

“This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them,” she told the magazine. “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.”

Earlier this month, the Oscar winner made headlines when she sought treatment for her illness. She checked herself into Silver Hill Hospital, a mental health facility in New Canaan, Connecticut on April 6 and stayed a total of 5 days.

Friends of the actress told PEOPLE that Zeta-Jones had struggled privately while her husband, actor Michael Douglas, battled throat cancer. After Douglas, 66, was declared cancer-free in January, she came to the realization that she couldn’t deal with her depression on her own.

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