Hayden Panettiere 'surprised' at level of support she received after seeking help for postnatal depression

The actress checked herself into a treatment centre towards the end of last year

Hayden Panettiere has spoken of her surprise at the level of support she received following her openness about seeking help for postnatal depression.

In October last year, a representative for the Nashville actress confirmed she had voluntarily entered a treatment facility to treat postpartum depression (also known as postnatal depression). 

Panettiere, whose partner is the Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, sought treatment after the birth of their first child Kaya in December 2014.

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The 26-year-old spoke to Entertainment Tonight ahead of the Critics Choice Awards, where she was nominated for her role as Juliette Barnes in Nashville.

The actress reflected on the “intense year” she had but said the “incredible amount of support” she received made her proud to be a spokesperson and role model for any mothers going through the same thing.

The support, however, was something the actress said she didn’t expect, since she is used to being in a “judgemental” industry.

‘I’ve gotten an incredible amount of support and I was actually really surprised because I feel like I grew up in this industry that, in my mind, was very judgemental. People were waiting for me to fall, make a mistake, waiting for anything to pick on so putting out something so personal, which I’m not used to doing… I just felt like I was waiting for it.”

Panettiere said to find that, in fact, people were wholly supportive made her feel “proud to be a spokesperson, a woman that people can look to and know that they’re not alone and they’re not weak if they go and seek help.”

She previously spoke about her experience with postnatal depression, saying: “It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you are told] about postpartum depression you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child; I want to injure or hurt my child’. I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realise how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on.”

Panettiere, whose Nashville character also had postpartum depression, said returning to filming the programme after taking time out to get treatment has gone well after an emotional “rocky start”.

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