Roxanne Pallett was "hiding a huge breakdown" in the 'Celebrity Big Brother' house.
The former 'Emmerdale' star sparked outrage when she falsely accused her housemate Ryan Thomas of punching her on the show and she's now admitted she shouldn't have entered the famous abode because she wasn't in the right place mentally to cope with the stress of the situation.
She told Closer magazine: "Everyone has struggles and I'm not using mine to justify my behaviour but looking back, I should have got help 20 years ago.
"Two weeks before 'Celebrity Big Brother', I'd been in a car crash and the minute it happened I was on edge and defensive.
"I was hiding a huge breakdown. My mind had gone to mush, I was getting flashbacks of the house fire (from when she was 16) and I wasn't thinking straight.
"I kept changing my mind and being erratic.
"I was jumping to conclusions that weren't accurate yet still I laughed and put on a pretence. These invisible wounds were destroying me."
The 37-year-old actress - who has apologised to Ryan - was later diagnosed with PTSD and sought therapy and now views the scandal as a "blessing in disguise" as it forced her to confront her problems.
She said: "Last year was a blessing in disguise because the universe was trying to tell me I was on the wrong path.
"Now I'm much calmer, I'm less argumentative and defensive and I'll have EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) and CBT therapy for as long as I need."
While Roxanne admitted her stint on 'CBB' "broke" her, she refuses to be defined by it and is happy with the path she's now found herself on.
She said: "Last year doesn't define my life. It was two weeks out of 36 years, but 'CBB' was the biggest wake-up call of my life - and the most valuable lesson.
"It broke me, but then it made me.
"For now, my priorities have changed. Life isn't about a career or success, it's about being healthy and happy.
"I've already been working with mental health groups, sharing my story and helping others.
"I want to use my platform and be an advocate for mental health, and piece myself together. It might take the rest of my life, but that's OK."