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Desperate Catherine Zeta Jones dashed to Wales to get help from her family, days before checking into clinic

After her startling admission that she checked into a clinic to be treated for bipolar disorder last week, it now emerges that Catherine Zeta-Jones had flown to Wales days before to beg her family for help over her deteriorating mental health.
A family friend says the Hollywood actress went to see her parents Patricia and David in the Mumbles area of Swansea last week for two days. They flew back to New York with her, and are staying on to ‘help look after the children and to maintain some sense of normality’, the friend adds.
Having been treated, the star is said to be back on ‘top form’ and is throwing herself into her work to get over the episode.
She has told producers of her latest film – a comedy starring Gerard Butler called Playing The Field in which she plays a ‘soccer mom’ – she will be available this week, a matter of days after she left the clinic.
Production is already under way in Louisiana and Miss Zeta-Jones would have to ensure she was able to travel in order to keep her part. So it will help to have her parents in the U.S. to look after her two children with Michael Douglas: son Dylan, ten, and daughter Carys, seven.
Julia Lamb, of mental health charity Mind, says the support of family members is ‘very important’ to recover from bipolar disorder, adding: ‘It does depend on the individual but when you develop the condition due to a stressful situation symptoms can include hallucinations and hearing voices.
‘Some people could have one or two episodes and move on with their life while others will find they struggle to do everyday things and it becomes something that has to be managed.’


Silver Hill Hospital, the psychiatric hospital where Miss Zeta-Jones has just spent five days, is set in 45 acres of the finest American countryside in New Canaan, Connecticut. 
Outside there are tennis courts and woodland walks; inside are huge fireplaces, polished wooden floors and old, faded Persian rugs.
For £770 a night, patients have four-poster beds with wonderful Egyptian cotton sheets and their own bathrooms. There’s a maid service and a spectacular, old-fashioned dining room with waitresses that serve the evening meals.
A friend of mine who spent a year at Silver Hill says: ‘It’s not like any other psychiatric hospital in the world. It’s like staying in a very nice hotel – four stars at least – where everyone is very polite to you. And they hand out the medication.’
Those who have been treated there include Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli and Mariah Carey.


It is, then, just the place where you might expect to find someone like Miss Zeta-Jones, who has gone from being a stage-struck girl in Swansea to the Hollywood princess who in 2003 famously declared of her and her husband: ‘A million dollars is not a lot of money for people like us.’
She admitted herself to the clinic on Wednesday last week under the pseudonym Terrie Kirny. Douglas was with her and apparently she was visibly upset when checking in.
Her publicist CeCe York said that she was treated for ‘bipolar II disorder’ – a mild version of the bipolar disorder that has recently ravaged Charlie Sheen. It seems the condition was sparked by Douglas’ battle with throat cancer.
But there are whispers about her breakdown. For isn’t a mere five-day stay in a world-famous rehab clinic a rather eccentric way to treat a long-term depressive condition?


People who have been treated at Silver Hill say that the paperwork and complicated process of admission means it can take an entire day just to check in.
What treatment might she effectively receive in just four days, then, especially since the drugs used to treat such depressive illnesses take between four weeks and three months to become effective? During her stay, Miss Zeta-Jones reportedly even went jogging around the grounds and joined her fellow patients for post-dinner games of poker, which doesn’t exactly suggest any intensive programme of treatment.
Dr Keith Ablow, a prominent U.S. psychiatrist, says bipolar II features serial depressive episodes and some occasional ‘highs’. 
In his opinion, if the actress is suffering from the condition, she will have been living with it for most of her life, and will probably have been taking medication for many years.
In which case, what use a short stay to treat a condition which is usually controlled by drugs and therapy on an out-patient basis?
It would usually be a perfect period to recover from, say, an overdose, or to undergo a detox from drugs or alcohol. All such suggestions are categorically denied by Miss Zeta-Jones’s representatives.
What is certain is that her new film role must be seen as too good an opportunity to miss, and a chance for her to reclaim what was a stellar career. Since she won an Oscar in 2003 for Chicago she has starred in no major hit, and at 41 is an awkward age in Hollywood: too old to be the romantic lead, too young to be a grande dame.


In 2009 she moved her family from Bermuda to New York in a bid to stave off a slide to professional oblivion, accepting an offer to appear for the first time on Broadway – in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music. 
Since then, even before Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer last August, there have been signs of trouble in the gilded life of Catherine The Great. 
Take, for instance, her extreme weight loss last spring. She said it was due to a strict exercise schedule ahead of her Broadway role.
Some, however, speculated that she was on a ‘heartbreak diet’ caused by a rough patch in her marriage.
Around this time, Douglas quipped on U.S. TV that the couple weren’t sleeping together – a potential problem for one who is a self-confessed sex addict.
Six months went by in 2009 without them even being sighted as a couple. It was rather a surprise, then, suddenly to be presented with pictures of her cavorting  fully nude in Allure magazine  last spring. 
Why on earth was she behaving like another fame-hungry floozy?


In retrospect those pictures of her – lying on suggestively rumpled sheets wearing nothing more  than big hair and a come-hither expression – suggested there was trouble in this particular paradise.
Where not so long ago she had the dignity of a Park Avenue princess, suddenly she was uninhibited to the point of appearing desperate and embarrassing.
Last summer, eyebrows were raised once again. On stage to win a Tony award for her role in the Sondheim musical, she waved at Douglas and yelled: ‘See that man over there? He is a movie star and I get to sleep with him every night!’ 
As a speech it was breathtakingly crass – crude even. One present noted that she was sweating  heavily and seemed almost disorientated.


Only a few weeks later, performing her final night on Broadway, she seemed distinctly off-kilter – slurring through a speech. She had earlier missed several shows after falling sick with a virus. If she was indeed out of sorts, she had little time to recover. The bombshell of Douglas’s cancer diagnosis came only a few weeks after she finished in the show. 
As he began radiotherapy in October, she said in an interview that she was struggling to cope with her husband being so unwell.  
A source told the National Enquirer magazine: ‘She was chain smoking and drinking. It was tearing Catherine apart to see such a vital man as Michael in such a weakened state. I think she was crumbling.’
Certainly, she has long been an enthusiastic social drinker – and there is no indication that she stopped, even though her husband was banned from alcohol while undergoing radiotherapy. In January this year, Douglas completed his treatment, which he says has been successful. 
The following month, the whole family travelled to Buckingham Palace, where she was awarded a CBE. Life seemed quite perfect.
We now know that, under the surface, their troubles were not  yet over. But then, as any actress will attest, a perfect smile and a slick of make-up can hide almost anything.
Additional reporting by Daniel Bates and Simon Cable.





source : (http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

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