Douglas blames stiff upper lip for Zeta-Jones breakdown

London: Michael Douglas feels that his cancer battle and the famous British stiff upper lip lead to his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones` break down.

The 66-year-old actor said his wife`s Welsh background meant that she bottled everything up and was overcome with emotion when he was given the all-clear, a website reported.

While he just "got on with it", Zeta-Jones remained stoic throughout and just stored up problems for herself.

The `Chicago` star checked into a rehabilitation clinic for five days earlier this month where she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder brought on by the strain of
Douglas` battle with throat cancer.

“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," Douglas said.

Speaking on the Oprah Winfrey show Douglas agreed that his health problems had "exacerbated Zeta-Jones" plight.

"In my last year and a half 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`," Douglas said.

Douglas, however, is proud of his wife for seeking treatment for her condition.

"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.