Angelina Jolie speaks out about her health battle and being a single mom

The actress opened up about her battle with Bell's palsy and life after her divorce from Brad Pitt in an interview with Vanity Fair.
5:32 | 07/27/17

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Transcript for Angelina Jolie speaks out about her health battle and being a single mom
Coming up now is our "Gma" cover story, Angelina Jolie speaking out in the upcoming issue of "Vanity fair" about life with her children after her break one with Brad Pitt and her recent health battles. Our good friend, "Nightline" anchor juju Chang has details for us. Good morning, everyone. It's been four years since Angelina Jolie revealed her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. Now the actress and director is sharing candid details about her latest health scare which involved a temporary partial paralysis of her very famous face. This morning, Angelina Jolie revealing the new hurdles in the battle for her health. Hypertension and bell's palsy. The mother of six gracing the cover of "Vanity fair" telling the magazine she developed bell's palsy last year as a result of damage to her facial nerves causing the side of one of the most photographed faces in the world to droop. Saying sometimes women in families put themselves last until it manifests itself in their own health. LE bell's palsy is usually caused by a viral infection and can lead to pain and weakness on one side of the face. She's now fully recovered, she says, thanks to acupuncture. Two conditions that are rated to stress and it's quite clear to me that she developed them as a result of the personal stuff that was going on with her marriage. Reporter: Last fall Jolie went through a highly publicized split from Brad Pitt, something she discussed on "Gma." We are focusing on the health of our family and so we will be. We will be stronger when we come out of this because that's what we're determined to do as a family. Reporter: While they are still working out the terms of their divorce, Jolie says she's trying to stay composed for the sake of the kids saying, they've been very brave. I do not want my children to be worried about me. 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. Jolie also opening up about her decision to remove her ovaries two years ago after a cancer scare. A move that put her straight into menopause. Now the 42-year-old says she's noticing extra gray and drier skin, saying I can't tell if it's the menopause or it's just been the year I've had. She sort of is trying to demystify menopause in these various health issues that women go through and to show that, you know, you can still be beautiful and gorgeous and happy even when you reach these points. Reporter: With the upcoming release of her new Netflix film "First they killed my father," Jolie is diving back into work while balancing life as a single mom adding, 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. Now, Jolie says she's just now coming up for air after her very public breakup. She admits it's been tough on her six kids but they are all doing their best to heal and after being so open about all her medical issues for her that's clearly both emotional and physical healing. Robin. It does appear that way, juju, thank you. Our senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here with more and she has been so open about all the things that she's faced healthwise. What exactly because not everyone knows about bell's palsy. This is a great example, again, of a world famous celebrity bringing attention not to something like bell's palsy but hypertension. Menopause. It refers to an impairment of the main nerve in the face, the facial nerve kind of runs down each side of the face. When that nerve is injured or impaired, it causes this weakness or paralysis on half the face where you get a drooping. You can't close your eyelid. You can't smile. You could drool. Sometimes can't raise your eyebrows totally normally and something that affects 40,000 people a year. She said acupuncture helped her. There's a slew of treatments used but the best news about 80% of bell's palsy will resolve on its own in about six months so we call it benign neglect. Just watch and wait but things like antiviral medications have been used, steroids, things for pain like ibuprofen and tylenol and the complementary therapies, acupuncture. I have a very low threshold for representing that to people because we don't totally understand how it works. Massage. It's really about kind of getting through that time and hoping for the best. Whatever works for that individual. So do we know what causes it? That's the thing, robin. We don't have a good understanding of what causes it. There are things that have been associated with bell's palsy. Probably the most common have been certain types of infections, trauma, there have been associations with diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, I've seen it in pregnancy. One of the wives of our cameramen had it when she was pregnant so this is something that'sut there. We don't have a total understanding of why people get it. Before we came on the air I was telling you one of my young nephews went through it and fortunately it cleared up. This can be so scary when you see a facial droop because that can look like a stroke. What do you think when someone says bell's palsy? I think actually the emotional and psychological part. That's something that most doctors -- we are quick to want to treat and, you know, recommend a prescription or some kind of treatment but the emotional and psychological toll this takes, it can be frightening and embarrassing and sometimes caring for the emotional part of the patient is the best treatment we can give. There's an emotional toll with whatever you're going through, always talk about the physical things that we go through. Absolutely. All right. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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