Gregg DeGuire / WireImage 1 / 12
Gregg DeGuire / WireImage 1 / 12

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones gained a new perspective on life after she sought treatment for bipolar disorder last year, and she says she's now less consumed with the public's opinion of her.

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The "Chicago" star made headlines in April 2011 after she checked into a mental health facility in Connecticut, where she spent five days combating a serious bout of depression.

Zeta-Jones' treatment came less than a year after her husband, Michael Douglas, was diagnosed with throat cancer.

She tells Britain's Stylist magazine, "As hard as it is, it puts everything into perspective on a personal and professional level. I'm not so consumed about what people think or say, like I used to be. It's made me much more centered and I'm not afraid to say no, and if people don't like that, well, tough. I'm looking out for myself more. We spend a lot of time in our business being nice and giving a lot out to complete strangers. And then you turn around and go, 'Wait a minute, I'm exhausted by this. It's our time now and we should be enjoying every minute.'

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She added, "It's not about being a hamster on a wheel. This is life; this is it. And we feel very blessed with our health and everything. And we just enjoy it. Michael's the same. These things are sent to try us, and we do sit back and go, 'Wow, we got through that,' and, 'Oof, we dodged that huge bullet.' I guess it does make you stronger because you have some ammunition to be prepared for something else that's going to sideswipe you, because it really did sideswipe us."

And she reveals the couple has been touched by all the well-wishes for Douglas, who was given the all-clear from his cancer last year.

Zeta-Jones says, "I've had so many letters about Michael, and it's just incredible. We all really appreciate that and all those prayers for him. It's now onwards and upwards. We're onto the next chapter of our lives. As long as we have health and happiness, nothing else matters. ... I'm in a much better place now. Things are going great, and long may they continue, because it's been a tough road."

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