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Catherine Zeta-Jones Talks Mental Health, Michael Douglas' Cancer Diagnosis

07/22/2013 03:47 pm ET
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Catherine Zeta-Jones is not holding back when it comes to confronting her -- and husband Michael Douglas' -- health head-on.

In a candid interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the 43-year-old Oscar-winner reveals that Douglas' battle with throat cancer triggered an imbalance in her mental health that landed her in rehab at least twice since his diagnosis in 2011. She also admitted that becoming a default spokesperson for bipolar disorder was not entirely intentional.

An excerpt from the interview is below:

"[Bipolar] is something I have been dealing with for a long time. When you get sideswiped like that [with Douglas’s illness] it’s an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little bit off – not sleeping, worry, stress. It’s a classic trigger.

I never wanted to be as open about it as I was. I have a British stiff-upper-lip mentality –- it wasn’t something I wanted to shout from the rooftops. But when it did come to light, I know I’m not the only person who suffers with it or has to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. So if I’ve helped anybody by discussing bipolar or depression, that’s great."

According to the publication, the mother of two (to daughter Carys and son Dylan, along with Douglas' son from a previous relationship) became emotional when discussing her husband-of-13-years' strength during his chemotherapy and radiation therapy. She also describes learning about Douglas' diagnosis for the first time:

"When Michael was diagnosed with cancer I really thought, 'You are going to have to wipe me off the floor.' This happens to people all the time, but it’s still a huge shock when the cards start to fall and you realize, 'My God, it really is happening to us' … The human spirit is amazing… Although I wasn’t as strong as I thought I could have been… I wasn’t."

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