Hayden Panettiere Talks Her Battle With Depression

Hayden Panettiere will return to Nashville on January 5 when the former ABC series heads to CMT. (Yep, Juliette survived that plane crash!) Ahead of the season 5 premiere, Panettiere reveals how she felt about her character's struggle with postpartum depression mirroring her own. In 2015, Panettiere went to treatment for postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter Kaya. In season 4 of the series, her country singer character Juliette also experienced depression following the birth of her child. During an interview with Access Hollywood, the onscreen songstress was asked if it was taxing playing a character whose experiences she shared. "You have to ride the waves, like your character," says Panettiere of the season 4 plot line. "When you're that close to your character, and you feel their pain, sometimes things hit close to home... It takes a lot out of you."
In March 2016, Panettiere revealed to Yahoo! Style that while returning to that frame of mind was challenging, it wasn't the first time she's been tasked with borrowing from her personal life: "It was strange having to throw myself back into that frame of mind," the actress said. "The way I do things is to pull from my own personal experience and sometimes even turn myself into what I'm portraying so that I can pull from my life and step into that person's shoes by being able to relate." Panettiere added that sharing her experiences with postpartum depression was enormously helpful in healing: "I finally just went, 'I'm tired of living afraid. I'm tired of living in fear of what people are going to think, so you know, I'm just going to put it all out there on the table and I'm not going to worry about the judgment.'" Fortunately, the actress states that people were supportive, despite her apprehension to share: "I got so much support and so much love. I was floored. I feel much more exposed, yes, but in a great way." Here's hoping that, like Panettiere, Juliette is also on a path towards healing. Now that Juliette is a plane crash survivor, there's nothing that can break her — something she has in common with the actress who portrays her.

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