When Hayden Panettiere gave birth to her daughter, Kaya, two years ago, she had no idea that she'd soon be struggling with postpartum depression. It took the "Nashville" actress some time to even realize what was happening to her, she revealed in a recent interview, and now, she's opening up even more about the experience.
During an appearance on "Good Morning America" this week, Panettiere talked about how she figured out something was wrong ("You feel off, you don't feel like yourself," she explained), and a large part of that had to do with her "Nashville" character, Juliette Barnes, who was also coincidentally dealing with postpartum depression. The actress had to take a leave of absence from the show in late 2015 while seeking treatment for her own depression, and in 2016, sought treatment for a second time.
According to Panettiere, playing Juliette's own struggle "absolutely" helped her deal with her own issues.
"I think it helped me identify what was going on," she said. "And to let women know that it's okay to ask for help and it's okay to have a moment of weakness. It doesn't make you a bad person, doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a very strong, resilient woman. You've just got to let it make you stronger."
The actress says that that's certainly the case for her, and it also helped improve her relationship with her daughter.
"I think I'm a better mom because of it," she explained, "because you never take that connection for granted."
Now, Panettiere is back playing Juliette once more, and as she gears up for the rest of season five (which just had its debut on new network CMT), she sees even more parallels between herself and her onscreen alter ego.
"She crashes and burns and then she rises from the ashes, and she always takes the lesson and becomes stronger for it," the actress said. "We have that in common, I think."
[via: ABC News]