Hayden Panettiere’s Postpartum Depression: Actress Reveals How Treatment Has Helped

Hayden Panettiere welcomed her first daughter, Kaya Evdokia, in December of 2014 with fiancé, professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko, and has been fighting a tough battle with postpartum depression. The Nashville actress sought treatment and ever since, she’s been feeling great.

“It feels different for me because of things that I’ve gone through recently, over the last year,” Hayden Panettiere told People while on the red carpet for the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards. “I’ve really gone, ‘You know what, I’ve been in this industry for so long, forget it!’ I’ve been hiding myself. Just putting out the smiling face, showing people this, and allowing that veil to come down — it’s like a weight off my shoulders.”

Panettiere adds that she is only 26-years-old and a mother, being afraid of what others think is not something she can have time for. When she was honest, Hayden received overwhelming support and she’s happy she made the decision to speak out about it.

“Honestly, when I said I had PPD the first time on Kelly and Michael I didn’t plan on it,” Hayden Panettiere says. “We talked about it for a second, but it was just like a conversation, and I was like, ‘Why should I be ashamed or hide when it costs so much?’ It costs me so much to hide. It costs you so much to lie.”

Hayden Panettiere’s postpartum depression has kept her from the set of her television show Nashville for a couple of months, having recently returned earlier this month. Actor Jonathan Jackson, who portrays Hayden’s love interest on the show, is happy that she has returned and says it is a good example for other actresses who may also be dealing with postpartum depression. Dee Johnson, Nashville‘s executive producer, says they were willing to make adjustments for Hayden’s leave and let fans know that she would not be absent the entire season.

Panettiere admitted herself into a treatment facility in October, and the month prior, was on Live! with Kelly and Michael discussing postpartum depression. She talked about how there are still so many out there who believe it isn’t real or it’s some sort of made up myth, an exaggeration of simple hormones. Hayden made it clear that this is something that is very real that women deal with all the time, and they need support.

“The only important thing to me is that I’m not causing myself pain and discomfort anymore, and I can be a strong woman for my daughter to look up to,” Hayden Panettiere says. “It would horrible for me to be going, ‘You can be whomever you want! You can do whatever you want in life!’ yet I was unable to follow the same words.”

Hayden Panettiere tells E! News, “I was floored by the positive response. I’m really happy that I can stand up for the women who are out there suffering from this and let them know it’s okay. They’re not alone. It doesn’t mean they’re weak. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad mom. It doesn’t mean they’re strange. They can get help if they need it, and that’s okay.”

Hayden Panettiere returning to Nashville is definitely a good move for the actress. The former Heroes actress received two nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, for her role in Nashville as Juliette Barnes in 2012 and 2013. But those are not the only awards the actress has been nominated for. For her work on Nashville, she has also been nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2012 as well as a Teen Choice Award for Television Actress: Drama in 2013 and 2015.

[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Critics’ Choice Awards]