Thursday, April 14, 2011

Snap Out of It, Catherine Zeta Jones

Yesterday, Catherine Zeta Jones checked herself into a "mental health rehab facility." The reason given was Bipolar Syndrome II which made me feel very bad for her.

Bipolar disorder, once referred to as "manic depression" is very serious. After a little research, however, I learned that Bipolar II is a fancy new term replacing the more old-fashioned "nervous breakdown." Equally serious and awful, I have known several people who've experienced them. They are damaging and scary and professional help is most definitely a must.
Undeniably, Catherine has had a very tough year. Her husband, Michael Douglas battled throat cancer. According to recent reports, he is now cancer free, thank God, but will have to be carefully monitored from now on. He is expected to be able to live a full and productive life. Great news.

Cancer is a total nightmare for everyone. Even for people like Michael Douglas who can afford top-of-the line treatment and hospitals, every creature comfort in the book and then some, plus trips to Disneyland and tony island resorts in between chemo. You know who cancer especially sucks for? People with no insurance or no ride to chemo or no treatment once their benefits -- if they have them --  run out or no hope at all--among other things.

Her stepson went to jail for selling drugs. That stinks, too. Forget the fact that he is another Hollywood-raised brat who, I am guessing, might have received a little less than optimum guidance from two busy parents who were living the life rather than focusing on their child. Maybe I'm wrong. The odds are with me, though.

This scenario doesn't make it any easier to watch your husband's son be locked in the slammer but I worry more about kids who never had a chance, in or out of the system. Or kids, in the wrong place at the wrong time, who got in trouble. Kids given court appointed attorneys who don't lose any sleep as the bars clang shut behind their clients. Advocateless kids whose youths are lost, their lives ruined by a prison sentence--among other things.

The article I read abut Catherine's difficult year mentioned her stress over Michael Douglas' ex-wife suing him over half the profits from a recent movie.

Even if he'd had to fork over that money (I have no idea of the outcome), I suspect there would have been plenty remaining in the Douglas coffers. Enough to keep you out of the community food bank or the thrift shops to buy your kids shoes for school, Catherine. Enough for the mortgages on your multiple homes or your designer clothes--among other things.

The article also mentioned that Catherine was "overwhelmed" by her duties as an "actress and mother." Hold that thought until we can discuss it with a single mother working two jobs who still can't make ends meet and lies awake at night wondering how she'll pay for school supplies--among other things.

Maybe the paparazzi were just too damn annoying. Maybe Fashion Week,which you attended recently looking gorgeous, was too crowded. Maybe the European golfing excursion you took while your husband was receiving chemo was rainy and you didn't get to hit the links or the Disney trip was too noisy? Or, maybe the Golden Globes were a bore--among other things.

I am not expecting celebrities to be super human or not feel what the guy on the street feels. Nor do I begrudge them their wealth or their right to enjoy it.

I am not expecting them to be immune to the woes that affect the rest of us or not to, unashamedly, seek help when it is needed. We are all the same despite the money, bodyguards, handlers, managers, cooks, servants, nannies, agents, personal trainers, spiritual advisors and personal pillow fluffers--among other things.

And, maybe if Catherine Zeta Jones hadn't become an actress but instead was an incredibly attractive clerk in a convenience store, she might have been a strong character with the ability to cope with life's pitfalls. Who knows?

Someone should take her on a little drive through Newburgh, NY where that poor woman, who according to friends was a responsible parent until she decided, just yesterday, to drive her minivan with her four children in it, into the river. They all died except for a ten year old boy who managed to swim to safety. I'm guesings he's going to need some help as he gets older. Maybe you could throw a few bucks his way, Cathy.

So, get real, Catherine. Snap out of it and go do some volunteer work somewhere. Maybe then you'll see what real real stress and desperation look like--among other things.
It's a tough life.


  1. Bipolar and cancer are huge things and I can't imagine paparazzi make it easier.

    However, I do agree about the money aspect. One of my friends' moms suffered from cancer when my friend was in her teens. Her mom is a single parent and had to go on food stamps because all her income was going to cancer treatments.

    Or that eleven-year-old girl in TX who was brutalized by over 20 men and is now ostracized by her community. She'll need some serious help. Maybe the celebs can donate to her legal, med, and psych fees and take a stand for her?

  2. Katie,I'm in no way trying to minimize mental illness or her stress but as you mentioned, there are people out there dealing with the same things under much more dire circumstances and thay just continue putting one foot in front of the other.

  3. Reminds me of something my parents, and I'm sure yours, used to say. "You wanna cry?!? I'll GIVE you something to cry about!!"

    Life is full of lemons. People like us find someone with vodka and have a party. People like her seek professional help to discuss "why the lemons just have to be so damn yellow." ;)

  4. I agree with the part about charity work. helping others with problems similar to hers but without the flunkies and deep pockets might help her feel better.

  5. Oh, Cat. No doubt her husbamd's cancer experiences have been awful--as they are in all cases. I just feel she's a spoiled princess as opposed to someone who's realy experienced a tough I go through the day, I am realizing that it's all realtive. Your perceptions are yours, alone. I'm probably going to hell for this post.

  6. Thanks for the comment, Sharyn. Please read the above response from me to Cat. I'm feeling bad abut slamming her now--eventhough I do stand by certain things in the post...including the part about volunteering.

  7. Having been self-employed and uninsured for over 20 years, one of our biggest fears is that one of us gets a heinous, long-lasting disease. Better we should just drop dead.

    Sorry to be a downer.

  8. I will probably join you in hell, but I have a cousin with bipolar disorder and it seems to me to be an excuse to behave very,very badly. I also wonder if some people expect that they should feel good ALL the time. When most of us know that ups and downs are 'normal'... or am I more weird than I know?? :-)

  9. Michele. that should not have made me laugh bit it did---please no dropping dead!!! everyone would miss you too much!!!

  10. Janet, you and I are not going to hell becasue they're saying she has Bipolar II which is a nice term for stress management issues as far as I'm concerned. No hell for us, baby!