Actress Rene Russo is adamant there was nothing "brave" about her decision to speak openly about her bipolar diagnosis, insisting coping with the mental condition is just a part of her life experience.

The Thomas Crown Affair star unexpectedly went public with her lifelong battle with the mood disorder and her use of medication during a taped appearance on America's The Queen Latifah Show earlier this month (Oct14), and her admission won her praise from fans and mental health educators, who called her "brave" for discussing her secret illness with viewers.

However, Russo admits she was surprised by the reaction, because she doesn't think there's anything "shocking" about her health news.

The 60 year old explains, "For me, saying that, people said, 'Oh, you were so brave to come out.' To me, it's like saying, 'Oh, I take medication for high blood pressure.' I would love to take credit for being brave, but I don't feel that way about it...

"The next day (after the news went public), there were adjectives like, 'shocking', 'stunning', 'confession...' I thought, if I shot my husband and buried him in the backyard, Ok, you can say that that would be shocking! It's crazy."

However, Russo insists she is only too happy to discuss her struggles with bipolar disease and how she copes with the illness if it helps others suffering from similar health issues.

She adds, "Unfortunately I think depression and anxiety is really hard to live with and what people don't need is to feel bad about themselves because they decide to go on medication. The only thing I can think (of) is mental disease equals straight jacket. I think that that's what people think and if I can share an experience, because I know a lot of people are hurting out there and feel ashamed - I never understood it - but if I could share to help anyone out there... I'm not saying medication is right for everyone - (but) it was right for me."