In December 2014, Hayden Panettiere welcomed her first daughter into the world. A year later, she was not seen taking selfies with her baby like many mothers on social media usually do. Instead, she was checked into a rehab facility to treat her postpartum depression – a common, usually temporary, form of depression that affects one in eight women after they give birth, according to WebMD.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Style, the 26-year-old actress slammed people who suggest that women with postpartum depression should just “suck it up.” She said, “If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you’re out of your mind. It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings that you can ever feel. That a mother would not be able to connect with their child … for anybody to say that it’s false or created by us, you must have your head examined.”
According to Daily Mail, Panettiere wanted women suffering from postpartum depression to know that they’re not alone and that it does heal, but was terrified about telling the world about her illness. Yet instead of judgment, she received waves of support and love from her Hollywood colleagues and fans.
“I’m really happy that I can stand up for the women who are out there suffering from this … 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,” she told E! News.
The fact that the actress suffered from the illness at the same time as her “Nashville” character, Juliette Barnes, was a big coincidence. However, her character spun out of control after giving birth to her first child, ignored her troubling symptoms and abandoned her family – something Panettiere, thankfully, did not do. It is recommended that women facing postpartum depression seek mental health counselling.