Hayden Panettiere Seeks Treatment For Postpartum Depression


Choosing to be proactive about her health, Hayden Panettiere is looking for a new approach to treat her postpartum depression. The actress, who first sought help last fall, updated her fans about her condition on Twitter.

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Shortly after a brave, public admission about her postpartum depression (PPD) on Live! with Kelly and Michael in September, Panettiere’s rep confirmed she was “voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression.”

Is it normal for PPD to last this long? Natalie Dattilo, PhD, a clinical and health psychologist with Indiana University Health Physicians, says its duration is different for every woman.

“Some women can develop symptoms while pregnant, but it is also not uncommon for women to develop symptoms even six months to a year after giving birth,” Dattilo says. “In most cases, treatment by a qualified professional is recommended and often required for symptom relief. More severe cases will also require medical intervention.”

For Panettiere, it’s been a case of life imitating art: Like her character Juliette on Nashville, she has also experienced postpartum depression, and explained on Live! with Kelly and Michael about how her life at home is similar to her character’s.

“It’s something I can very much relate to. It’s something I know 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 my child or hurt my child,’”she explained to the co-hosts.

“I’ve never, ever had those feelings, but 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.”

Dattilo says about 3 million women are diagnosed with postpartum depression each year. “That is probably an underestimate since many cases still go unreported or undetected,” she says. For many moms, symptoms go away a few weeks after giving birth. But some women may not realize they’re at risk for postpartum depression for much longer.

“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,” Panettiere says. “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.”


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