Hayden Panettiere 'Feeling Great' After Postpartum Depression Treatment

by Maria Guido
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 17: (Editors Note: This image has been processed using digital filters) Actress Hayden Panettiere attends the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Critics' Choice Awards)

Hayden Panettiere opens up about PPD treatment

Over the weekend, Hayden Panettiere had her first red carpet interview since seeking treatment for postpartum depression. She was, as usual, refreshingly transparent while speaking about her struggles with PPD and how treatment has helped her.

She talked to Access Hollywood on the red carpet of the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday and said returning to the awards show scene felt “empowering.”

“I feel like a different person walking on this red carpet. I always felt a little socially awkward – I mean, I’m still socially awkward but I feel like I don’t have to hide myself as much anymore,” Panettiere told Access Hollywood. “And I can be true, and people will accept your scars and your bumps and your bruises and will relate to them, and I didn’t really know that until everything happened over this past year or so.”

She was very honest about her struggles with PPD after her first child was born and took that transparency to a new level when she revealed she was checking into a treatment facility for professional help in battling postpartum depression a year later. She said, “You don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that [depression] on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”

And it seems the treatment has really helped her do just that. “It’s a long process and it’s really interesting because part of therapy for me was really finding my true self and the ability to say no,” Hayden said. “[It’s] so difficult, so difficult. On one hand they’re telling you, you’re teaching yourself to really just expose yourself and be real and be honest and be open and let those emotions flood through, and then on the other hand you’re having to like keep it bottled up. So and you’re bound to make mistakes and you’re bound, you have to find that balance, and I’m still trying to find that balance.”

When women with such a huge platform are open and honest about things like struggling with PPD, they help so many others feel less alone. Whether we follow celebrity news or not, this is just something we can all appreciate. There’s a person somewhere who is reading her story right now and feeling less isolated because of it. It’s so important that we share our stories — and when someone with this kind of reach does, it can truly make a difference to so many women.

Women shouldn’t suffer in silence. This is a good reminder that there is nothing shameful about reaching out for help, and it shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.