Clinical psychologist welcomes Catherine Zeta Jones's announcement

A Chartered Psychologist welcomes people's greater openness about mental health following Catherine Zeta Jones's announcement that she has been  treated for bipolar disorder. Dr Lucy Johnstone, a Clinical Psychologist with the Cwm Taf Health Board, said: "The stigma surrounding mental health difficulties can sometimes do as much harm as the original problem, so it is good that people, including celebrities, are now more prepared to talk about their problems."

She went on to say that it is important to bear in mind that there is more than one way to treat bipolar disorder and that medication is not always the answer.

Chartered Psychologist, Dr Johnstone added: "A recent report on bipolar disorder from the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology pointed out that there is more than one way to understand this condition."

"It said that mood swings are sometimes linked to a history of trauma, in which case psychological therapy may be a better way forward than medication. Other people cope well by self-help and lifestyle changes and do not necessarily see themselves as having a mental illness."

"A psychological or self-help approach may offer new hope to people who find the traditional medical approach unhelpful or of limited benefit."

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