Hayden Panettiere Reveals How Postpartum Depression Changed Her

Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock
In 2015, Hayden Panettiere checked into rehab for postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter Kaya. Now, the Nashville actress, who took a medical leave from the show to deal with her mental health issues, tells Good Morning America that she feels the experience ultimately made her a better mom.

“It takes you a while, and you feel off, you don’t feel like yourself,” Panettiere tells GMA's Lara Spencer of battling PPD. “I think I’m all the stronger for it. And I think I’m a better mom because of it because you never take that connection for granted.”

In sharing her story, the one-time Heroes star reminded the world that there is hope for those struggling with PPD. And it's not just Panettiere who spreads awareness of this mental health issue: Her Nashville character, Juliette, also battled postpartum depression on the show. The TV actress, who will continue to portray Juliette now that the series has moved to CMT for its fifth season, reveals that stepping back into the country star's shoes has been integral to Panettiere's own healing process:

"I'm so glad to be back playing Juliette. Everything that she's been through ... she made me stronger."

Of course, it sounds like Panettiere is plenty strong all on her own. Kudos to this star for making women dealing with their own struggles feel a little less alone.
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If you are experiencing postpartum depression, please call the Postpartum Support Helpline.