Hayden Panettiere at the Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25, 2014. The actress revealed her struggle with postpartum depression Monday. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Hayden Panettiere opened up about her struggle with postpartum depression Monday on Live! with Kelly and Michael.
The 26-year-old actress revealed she battled the condition after welcoming daughter Kaya with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko in December 2014. The star's Nashville character, Juliette Barnes, struggled with postpartum depression in season 3.
"I can very much relate to [her]," Panettiere said. "[It's] something a lot of women experience ... but you don't realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It's something that I think needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they're not alone, and that it does heal."
"There's a lot of misunderstanding," she added. "There's a lot of people out there that who think that it's not real, that it's not true, that it's something that's made up in their minds ... 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."
The actress and Klitschko started dating in 2009, but broke up in 2011. The couple rekindled their romance after Panettiere split from NFL player Scotty McKnight the next year, and announced their engagement in October 2013.
Panettiere returned as Juliette on the Nashville season 4 premiere last week, with subsequent episodes to air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. The actress is also known for playing Claire Bennet on NBC series Heroes, but will not appear on reboot Heroes Reborn.