Catherine Zeta-Jones was forced to admit to her mental illness after she was "outed" by other patients in her treatment facility.
The 41-year-old actress checked into psychiatric rehab facility Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut earlier this month to treat her bipolar II disorder.
Her 66-year-old husband, Michael Douglas, said Catherine had initially planned to keep quiet about her battle with depression, but felt obliged to speak up after other hospital residents started gossiping about her.
"I must say, Catherine's being quite open about it because she was outed, you know," Michael told the Oprah Winfrey Show.
"She went to go get some help and some other patient probably in there said, 'Hey, you won't believe who's in here now.' And, so, once that happens, I think she felt [it] best to kind of get out the story."
Michael and Catherine's marriage is widely regarded as one of Hollywood's success stories, but the actor says they have had an extremely tough year. He was diagnosed with cancer, his eldest son Cameron, 32, was jailed for dealing crystal meth and his ex-wife Diandra Douglas is suing him for a portion of the profits he made from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Michael said his personal problems made it very difficult for Catherine to tell him she was unhappy.
"My oldest son is in federal prison, my ex-wife is suing me, and I got cancer. It's kind of hard for the wife to say, 'I'm depressed'," he said.
"'You're depressed, huh? How about some cancer, you want to get depressed?'" the actor joked.
Michael said Catherine's Welsh background also exacerbated her condition. While he just "got on with it", Catherine bottled her emotions up before they became too much.
"When you've got cancer you've got to take care of business. They tell you you have seven weeks of chemo, radiation, you kind of dive in and do it," he said.
"I'm the kind of person when they're sick, I just curl up, I don't like a lot of fuss and no attention. I just like to get on with it. So I got on with it.
"I think that part of Catherine's whole background, she's Welsh and the Welsh it's all stiff upper lip, not let your feelings show."
Michael and Catherine have two children, Dylan, 10, and eight-year-old Carys. He was declared cancer-free in January and he said Catherine is also better after seeking treatment.
"She's great now, she's shooting a movie and she's relived she has a much better understanding because this was not something where she was clearly aware of what was going on," he said.
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Video: Catherine Zeta-Jones seeks mental health help