Hayden Panettiere Opens Up About Postpartum Depression | Film News
Hayden Panettiere is not only a talented actress, singer and activist, but she is also someone who has been very vocal about postpartum depression. She confirmed back in October that she had voluntarily checked herself into a treatment center, and has since then shed a lot of light on the illness – something I love her for.
She told Entertainment Weekly in September 2015, “It’s something, I think, that needs to be talked about, and women need to know that they’re not alone”. While walking the red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Panettiere once again assured people that they’re not alone in their struggles, and shared her experiences with both People and E!.
The event marked her first US red carpet appearance since entering treatment. She revealed to People, that even though the red carpet is hardly unfamiliar terrain, it did feel strange and that it felt “so new” again after going through her treatment.
“It feels different for me because of things that I’ve gone through recently, over the last year, I’ve really gone, ‘You know what, I’ve been in this industry for so long, forget it!’ I’ve been hiding myself. Just putting out the smiling face, showing people this, and allowing that veil to come down — it’s like a weight off my shoulders”.
There is unfortunately a lot of stigma surrounding mental health, and Panettiere had been concealing her illness for a long time. We seldom talk about the physical pain and emotional distress a lot of women experience during and after a pregnancy. Women are often told to shake it off, or that they’re “motherly instincts will kick in” – but these responses can be damaging and end up invalidating their struggles.
Women are often afraid to seek help for fear of being judged. They often feel ashamed, because they fear that it makes them look like bad mothers. “I’ve been doing this for so long and I feel like I have been hiding who I was really am and was just afraid, terrified that someone was going to judge, someone wasn’t going to like something that I said, something that I wore, something I did,” she told E!
After opening up about her struggles, she feels that is has genuinely improved her life. “It made my life better,” Panettiere told E! “I do feel and hope it’s made other people’s lives better and more of an understanding because postpartum depression was not something that I ever understood. You could never understand it unless you have a personal involvement with it”.
She also told People, that she is no longer afraid of judgement, “I’m 26 years old. I’m a mom. I don’t need to be afraid of what people are going to think. I saw how much people rallied behind me when I was honest, and I didn’t know that honesty could be such a gift”.
Thank you Hayden for talking about such an important issue, and helping other mothers who are battling this illness. People need to feel supported and loved. People need to be reminded that it is a physical process as well as a psychological process, and that there is no shame in admitting that you need help.
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