Reps for Nashville star Hayden Panettiere confirmed today that the 26-year-old has checked into a medical facility to undergo treatment for postpartum depression. Panettiere gave birth to her daughter, Kaya Evdokia last December, her first child with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko.
Since her daughter's birth, Panettiere has been open about her struggles with postpartum depression, and while appearing on Live! With Kelly and Michael last month spoke openly about the experience:
"It’s something a lot of women experience. When (you’re 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 realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal."
Postpartum depression (or postnatal depression), is a condition which can affect both men and women shortly after childbirth. While many women experience "postpartum baby blues" for up to two weeks following child birth, postpartum depression is a more severe, and long-last form of depression. Studies estimate that between 5% and 25% of women might be affected by postpartum depression, though a more exact rate is unclear due to methodological differences in the studies.
Despite Panettiere's struggles, it had seemed as though the star was on the road to recovery, posting a photo celebrating that she was feeling much more herself. However, as an indication of what a slow battle dealing with mental illness can be, just days after her social media post she had checked into an undisclosed medical facility.
Panettiere has joined the ranks of celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Amanda Peet, and Kendra Wilkinson who have all spoken out about suffering depression following the births of their children. Speaking on Live! With Kelly and Michael, Panettiere stressed the need for more widespread understanding of the illness:
"There’s a lot of misunderstanding — there’s a lot of people out there that think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their minds, that ‘Oh, it’s hormones.’ They brush it off. It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable. It’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support."
In a weird twist of life imitating art, Panettiere's character on Nashville, Juliette Barnes, also suffered with postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter, which was shown in the final few episodes of the show's third season.
If you, or someone you know needs help dealing with postpartum depression you can call the Postpartum Support International helpline on 1800 944 4773, or visit their website: www.postpartum.net