Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Her Rare Diagnosis

Angelina Jolie sat down for an interview with Vanity Fair and did not hold back on details about her split from Brad Pitt, caring for her six children and her declining health.

In the magazine's cover story, the actress confessed that her relationship with Brad "became difficult" last summer for reasons which she did not disclose. Shortly after that, in September 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from the actor.

Brad had his chance to share his side of the story in another interview with Vanity Fair a few months ago. He blamed some of his lifestyle choices including heavy drinking as one of the reasons why the relationship ended, but Jolie's recent words are painting a completely different story.

"[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative," Jolie said in the interview. "That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children.

She didn't lay blame on Brad either and told the magazine that they still "care for each other" and their family and are "both working towards the same goal."

As for her family, it's been a tough year and they're still trying to overcome the rough patch.

"We're all just healing from the events that led to the filing . . . They're not healing from divorce," Jolie added. "They're healing from some . . . from life, from things in life."

However, the impact of the divorce and the stress of directing a movie had some nasty side effects on Jolie. Her health began to decline and she was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease.

Click on the next page to find out what Jolie was diagnosed with and how it affected her overall well-being.

"Sometimes women in families put themselves last," Jolie said, "until it manifests itself in their own health."

The overwhelming stress caused the actress to develop hypertension and Bell's palsy. The latter is a type of facial paralysis caused by damage to the facial nerves. In severe cases, Bell's Palsy can last for weeks and result in the inability to close the affected eye and dropping of the corner of the mouth.

Vanity Fair

Luckily Jolie's symptoms were mild and she opted for acupuncture to treat the condition. She has since made a full recovery, but it caused to her worry a bit about how her health affects her children.

"I was very worried about my mother, growing up -- a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me," Jolie confessed. "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."

Vanity Fair

This isn't the first time that Jolie had to deal with a health concern. Back in 2013, she had a double mastectomy after discovering that she carried a gene that made her chances of developing breast cancer even higher. She also underwent a preventative procedure to remove her ovaries in 2015 to further lower her chances of cancer.

You can see a healthy Jolie in next month's issue of Vanity Fair and in the meantime you can see photos from the spread on the next page.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair

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Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.