"It's something I think needs to be talked about, and women need to know they're not alone, and that it does heal."
Update (October 13, 2015): Hayden Panettiere has checked into a rehab facility to be treated for postpartum depression, reports Us Weekly. “Hayden Panettiere is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression. She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time,” Panettiere's rep said in a statement read to Us on Tuesday, October 13.
Hayden Panettiere is speaking up about a serious health issue, one that affected both her character on the hit ABC show Nashville and her real life.
During an interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael on Monday, the 26-year-old actress shared her experience with postpartum depression after welcoming her daughter, Kaya Evdokia, with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko in December 2014.
"[It's] something that I can very much relate to, and it's something that I know a lot of women experience," she told the hosts. "When they tell you about postpartum depression, you think about, 'Okay, I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure my child, I want to hurt my child'—I've never ever had those feelings, and some women do."
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder new mothers (and dads) may experience after the birth of a child. Symptoms often include intense feelings of sadness or anxiety, crying for no reason, or questioning whether they can handle parenthood. It can last for days, weeks, or even months. Panettiere explained that postpartum depression isn't something we should sweep under the rug.
"You don't realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on," she continued. "It's something I think needs to be talked about, and women need to know they're not alone, and that it does heal."
Panettiere also touched upon the negative stigma associated with the disorder, which is more severe than the baby blues, saying that "there's a lot of misunderstanding."
Postpartum depression affects roughly one in seven women who give birth, according to the American Psychological Association. Unlike the baby blues, it often doesn't go away with time.
She explained, "I think there's a lot of people out there who think that it's not real, that it's not true, that it's something that's made up in their minds. [They think] 'Oh, it's hormones,' and they kind of brush it off. And it's not true—it's something that's completely uncontrollable. It's really painful and it's really scary, and women need a lot of support."
She hopes that more people will be more understanding in the future. Why? Because "women are amazing," the new mom added. "We do something that no man can do on this planet. I mean, we grow a human being in our bodies!"