"I curled up in a ball and I sobbed. I couldn't breathe; I was hyperventilating. I was scaring people who were calling to check on me because I couldn't even talk," she told the entertainment magazine.
In a confessional during Monday's night's episode of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," she said she didn't want raise her children as a single parent.
"I don't really want to be alone. I don't want to do this alone," she said.
Gosselin said her husband wanted to split for a long time before he told her he hired a lawyer and advised her to do the same. She said it's a step she would have never taken on her own.
People magazine deputy managing editor Peter Castro told "Good Morning America" that the situation is "the portrait of an American family crumbling."
"They don't hate each other," he said, but "[Jon] did not want any part of counseling; he wanted out of this marriage."
"It's real reality television," he said.
The Gosselins admitted on Monday night's episode that they had been living increasingly separate lives for the past two years, and Kate Gosselin said the breaking point in the marriage was not a result of the show or tabloid scrutiny.
"I believe it is a chapter that would have probably would have played out had the world been watching or not," Kate Gosselin said.
Inside Jon and Kate's Divorce
In the no-fault divorce papers she filed Monday in Montgomery County, Pa., she called her marriage "irretrievably broken" and said she is willing to "negotiate a fair and reasonable" settlement with Jon Gosselin.
Attorneys for both Jon and Kate Gosselin said Tuesday that the couple lived together on their Berks County compound until recently.
"They have been living 'separate and apart' just within the last week or two," said Jon's attorney, Charles Meyer, using a term from the divorce petition.
While court papers do not explain what led to the couple's breakup, in a statement released to the media Kate Gosselin said "Jon's activities" over the weekend had left her "no choice but to file legal procedures in order to protect myself and our children."
"To be honest, I was hurt by Kate's statement about the divorce," Jon countered Tuesday in his own release. "I have always done everything I can to protect our family. This weekend, I was home with the kids for four days, just being a dad. No nannies, just the kids and me."
While they reportedly are unable to agree on the division of their assets, Jon Gosselin said he hopes to "resolve things amicably."
Jon and Kate Gosselin broke the news to their children together, first by telling twins Cara and Mady.
The identical twins had very different reactions to the news.
"Mady was something. She said, 'I can't say this comes as much of a surprise. I could've guessed.' But Cara just crumpled into tears. She was crying, and I was holding her in my arms like a baby," Kate Gosselin told People.
The Gosselins broke the news to their sextuplets by keeping it "light and airy."
The Gosselins, who are parents of 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets, have decided to share their expansive $1.1 million home in southeastern Pennsylvania and rotate time there so that each parent gets to spend time with the children.
The children were told, "Daddy's not going to live here sometimes, but he'll come back half the time and we'll trade on and off."
What's Next for Jon and Kate Gosselin?
The family's troubles have resulted in huge ratings for the TLC show. The 10.6 million viewers who watched the Monday night show detailing the Gosselins' break up was a record, beating the huge audience for last month's "Jon & Kate" fifth season premiere by 800,000 viewers.
But the estranged couple's relationship difficulties will not get in the way of their hit TLC show. They've said they will continue filming the hit show.
"We interview separately, we'll film different things," Jon explained on Monday's episode. "Me and the kids, her and the kids."
"What [the show is] about changes almost on an episode basis," Castro said. "The reason people are tuning in is because this is American rubbernecking at its finest, or its worst, depending on your view."
The network said it would air a retrospective of the Gosselins' 10-year marriage next Monday, followed by a hiatus until Aug. 3.
During that break, "the family will take some time off to regroup, and then a modified schedule will be in place to support the family's transition," the network said.
In a statement Tuesday, TLC president Eileen O'Neill said the network "continues to support the Gosselin family and will work closely with them to determine the best way to continue to tell their story as they navigate through this difficult time."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.