Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Her Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis And Life After Divorce

Despite being an A-list celebrity, Angelina Jolie is a relatively private person.

But in an interview with Vanity Fair she opens up about her life after she and former husband Brad Pitt went their separate ways.

Since the divorce, she’s been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and is adjusting to a new, different lifestyle with her six children.

Bell’s Palsy is a condition in which the muscles on one side of the face become weakened or paralyzed.

It affects only one side of your face at a time, causing the one side to droop or become stiff.

Symptoms are usually only temporary.

It’s said to be caused by some sort of trauma to a cranial nerve called the “facial nerve,” but Jolie attributes it to a couple of different stressors to her body.

Angelina Jolie photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

“I can’t tell if it’s menopause or if it’s just been the year I’ve had,” she told Vanity Fair.

Considering the actress recently had her ovaries removed as a preventative measure against cancer, and has also gone through a public divorce, it makes sense that her body is feeling the effects of that stress.

“Sometimes women in families put themselves last until it manifests itself in their own health,” she told the magazine.

She’s also recently reconnected with her estranged father, which would be stressful for anyone.

“He’s been very good at understanding they needed their grandfather at this time,” she said. “I had to do a therapy meeting last night and he was just around. He knows kind of the rule—don’t make them play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library.”

According to Medscape, “Because persons with true Bell palsy generally have an excellent prognosis, and because spontaneous recovery is fairly common, treatment of Bell palsy is still controversial.”

But Jolie credits acupuncture as the main reason for her recovery.

Angelina Jolie photo
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

Despite her health issues and the adjustment to life as a single mom, Jolie told Vanity Fair that she is feeling as confident and empowered as ever:

I actually feel more of a woman because I feel like I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first, and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete.

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angelina jolie photo
Getty Images | Ethan Miller

Jolie admitted that anytime she does feel stressed or emotional, she tries to keep those feelings from her six kids—for their own sake.

“I was very worried about my mother, growing up—a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me,” she said in the new profile. “I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”

But, between raising her family, caring for herself and working on passion projects—she recently directed a film called “First They Killed My Father“—Jolie’s in control of her own life.

So, Bell’s Palsy or no, she seems as though she’s going to be just fine.