The hype is out and the world is in mental mayhem!
Another Hollywood starlet is diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. First, Carrie Fisher from my favourite legendary movie saga STAR WARS, then Britney Spears who melted away in front of the Hollywood Paparazzi while having a nervous breakdown…now Catherine Zeta-Jones has come out as having Bipolar II Disorder.
This is all good publicity, right? Isn't any awareness, good awareness?
No, definitely not.
I have read numerous accounts today that have been sharing their very brief and non-indepth snap shots of what is happening with Zeta-Jones. Although, there may not appear to be much to report, why not follow up and ask what bipolar disorder really is. How does it affect the general population? Who has bipolar disorder and what are we doing about it?
How do we 'stomp out stigma?' "Stigma?"..they ask… "What is stigma?"
Catherine has been describing her bouts with melancholy, telling The Sunday Times in the U.K. that "I'm lucky. … But that's not to say I don't get down on myself. I try and stay positive, being negative isn't good for my personality. I don't just bring myself down, I bring everyone around me down. It's like a dark cloud, 'Uh oh, here we go', and I have to snap out of it."
I am a little…no, not a little, VERY bewildered, disappointed and worried by Katherine's commentary. Using phrases such as "being negative isn't good for my personality", "staying positive", and "snapping out of it" raises huge concerns for myself and the bipolar community at large. Catherine is influential and people will be listening to her and with these words and I think she unknowingly stirred up a large pot of stigma stew for Hollywood and the world at large! 🙂 Why do I say this? She has not deliberately done anything 'wrong', but people will now probably misconstrue that having bipolar is a personality disorder due to her response. Katherine also checked into a treatment centre for 5 days and although she bravely did this to ease her mental health, many will conclude that a short stay at a spa is all you need to get back on your feet.
Now 'they' will say "You just need to stop being a negative person, simply pep up, be positive, and 'snap out of it'."
Phew! My tummy is turning. So what do you think? Stigma stew or something else on the menu?