Frankie Bridge thinks her hospitalisation for depression in 2012 was a ''God-send.''

The Saturdays singer checked into rehab seven years ago after she began suffering with panic attacks and low mood and, although she kept it from her fans at the time, she believes going away to hospital allowed her to come to terms with her mental health illness and really focus on herself in order to get better.

Speaking on the podcast Verified Views, she said: ''I've always had anxiety and I think back when I was really suffering people didn't know about anxiety and depression. I genuinely believe if that was me now maybe it wouldn't have escalated into me hospitalised when I was. That was kind of a bit of God send for me going into hospital because it just gave me time to check out and check in with myself and to understand what mental health was. You can feel like it controls you and that's what had happened to me. I felt I had control over it at one point and all of sudden I didn't. For me, knowledge was the key to understand what's happening to your body physically when you're having a panic attack.''

The 30-year-old beauty - who has sons Parker, five, and Carter, three, with her husband Wayne Bridge - was worried about telling her fans that she was on medication for her depression in case she became a ''poster girl'' for mental health.

She explained: ''The fact that my depression is a chemical imbalance and I'm not just going crazy. To meet other people that are feeling the same and to all be on medication and it's not this big deal.

''I think when I came out of hospital I just felt like with the fans of The Saturdays at the time that they deserved to know because I felt like a lie for the last how many years pretending to be this person I thought everyone wanted me to be.

''Everyone was so nice about it and really understanding and then I kind of shied away again because I didn't want to say I was on medication and I didn't want to be the poster girl for being depressed.''