As I said in an earlier post I have had one or two posts in my mind for a while and seeing as I seem to be on a roll posting wise I thought I would take a little time to write one up and see if it floats or sinks to the bottom like a stone.

Catherine Zeta Jones

It was revealed recently about Catherine Zeta Jones entering a mental Health facility to “recover” from a bout of Bipolar. This news spread like wildfire around the media and Mental Health charities saw it as yet another Celebrity coming out of the closet and being open about their battle with Mental Illness. Go CZJ you’re advancing our advocacy. Yet the Madosphere went somewhat down a different alley by saying that the 5 day stay in what would most likely have been a luxury facility and that she would have been pandered to in that time was bought to the fore.

The questions that were raised included:
“What could possibly have been achieved in 5 Days?”
“Would she have gotten the same treatment if she wasn’t a multi Millionaire?”
“Should so much be made of one persons misfortune?”

I read with interest that Mind, Rethink and Time to change all thought that this was another cornerstone in the awareness stakes. It was as if the mother lode had dropped and now one big Hollywood star has come out it will only help the cause. It was, to me, just bandwagon jumping of the most crass. If she had decided to make a big deal of it by going to an organization and saying “Look I suffer from this and I want to help awareness” that would have been a different story, but in all reality all the Charities did was publicize and give all the more credence to what should have been a one day story.

Kerry Katona

Britney Spears

Many celebrities have come out as being Bipolar and it’s not always (in the long run) been a good thing for them. I have written about Kerry Katona before and where ever she goes these days she is reminded of that day on This Morning. I have spoken about Britney Spears before and lets face it she still after 3 years still hasn’t gotten her life back after her breakdown… the fact of the matter is that her father still holds the cheque book and all business matters have to go through him. That’s just two of the sad stories. Of course there are the positive stories like that of Stephen Fry, who made a TV show about his life as a Manic Depressive and has since been held up as a beacon of what a highly functioning person with Bipolar can do. Fair play to him. The bottom line to all of this is that all these people have the money and time to take a week or so to just drop out and “Get Better.”

In the real world people who have Bipolar are just as likely to be able to drop everything and go into a private facility to recoup after a bad spell. In reality the ordinary sufferer on the street is most likely to be forgotten about or not listened to. There are mechanisms in place for people to seek help, they include but are not exhaustive:

Go see your GP – If you can get an appointment within a week
Call the CMHT – If you can get them to answer the phone
Call The Crisis Team – If you break down between 9-5
Go to your local A&E department – Where you’ll be assessed after 5 hours of waiting in a crowded waiting room being stared at because you may be crying or rocking back and forth.

You see what I am saying. The ordinary sufferer has no where to turn when it really comes down to it. We don’t have the option of phoning the local Psych ward to see if they have an en suite place that we can just drop into for a few days to recharge the old mental batteries. We have to play the system at it’s own game. We have to battle tooth and nail to get just a referral to somewhere that could help.

Do I think the whole situation with CZJ confessing to having mental problems is a major problem… No not really after all it’s been almost two weeks now and who apart from me is still writing about it. It occasionally flickers up on Google news.. a late cache of news that as soon as it’s realised is gone again. All that has really happened in this whole mess is that a few more people who are having a bad day think they have Bipolar because it seems to be the in thing to have amongst the celebrity set. They think it sounds like a really cool thing to say to their friends.. sorry I can’t come out tonight I am having a Bipolar time. When in fact those who have been told by a Psych that they actually have this god awful illness are going through hell, having broken sleep, sleeping way to much because the drugs we have to take so we do not break down every other week are making us look like zombies. Those of us who live it day to day, not as a badge of honour but as something that hangs around our necks like an albatross to a struggling sailor are really saying where is our 5 days of respite, where is our magic cure and finally where do we go to get our faces plastered all over the press to highlight the shit we are going through.

This may not be a very coherent rant but it comes straight from my own head and if I am honest reading it back it makes me sound a bot like a moaner… but truth be told it’s just what I have been thinking and not had the words to say for quite some time.

Next time one of the Jet Set says I am having a hard time I must be Bipolar, just think to yourself “Do they really… lets see them try and get hold of Hollywood CMHT on a Friday afternoon when the sun is out” and see how far they get.

Until Next Time…


  1. The celebritization of mental health is a major problem as it distracts attention and resources away from ordinary people genuinely struggling to cope with mental health issues by creating heroic impressions that people can near instantly stabilise , recover and get on with their lives as long as they follow in the footsteps of the stars paving the way.

    These celebrity fronted media impressions are intended to change public attitudes towards mental health but they actually just end up generating more confusion around the subject , increasing the prejudice people face and accelerating the disintegration of mental health services as savings and surplus driven providers hack provision to suit the trendy media campaigns encouraging people to be more mindful and resilient

    Lets face it, when CZJ asked for help she wasn’t catapaulted back at a non existent community with a Time to Change Smiley badge and a bureaucratic leaflet helpfully explaining the ‘ modernisation ‘ away of all respite care services as she probably would be if she was stuck in a bedsit in Swansea with her life disintergrating around her.

    The celebritization of mental health is also socially reckless in another more blindingly obvious way, as celebrity , as the origin of the term suggests, is hardly a qualification to live and breathe down to earth worldly wisdom, it’s actually a distortion and major source of mental health issues in its own right.

  2. Thanks for your comments.

    Dave, you reminded me (and I am glad you did) but on my initial meeting with my Psych she gave me a card for Rethink in my area to get in touch with them and see how they could help me. This was after being told for ten minutes the amount of work the recovery team would be doing with me. I shall have to ring up on Tuesday and see when they offer. I just hope that they aren’t outsourcing care to a Charity… that just doesn’t sit right with me.