Hayden Panettiere at the Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25, 2014. The actress and Wladimir Klitschko welcomed their daughter Kaya in December 2014. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, March 8 (UPI) -- Hayden Panettiere is opening up about her "debilitating" and "scary" experience with postpartum depression.
The 26-year-old actress discussed the condition in an interview with Yahoo! Style published Monday. Panettiere experienced postpartum depression following her daughter's birth and sought treatment at a rehab facility in October.
"I was always so terrified that people weren't going to accept me," the star said. "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.'"
Panettiere and fiancé Wladimir Klitschko welcomed their daughter Kaya in December 2014. The actress revealed her struggle with postpartum depression on Live! with Kelly and Michael in September and entered an undisclosed treatment facility just a few weeks later.
"The more open I was, the more acceptance I got from people," the star said. "I got so much support and so much love. I was floored. I feel much more exposed, yes, but in a great way."
Panettiere's character on Nashville, Juliette Barnes, also struggles with postpartum depression. The actress' experience, coupled with the ABC series, helped shed light on the condition, but Panettiere said some remain critical of those struggling with the disease.
"It's like you have no idea what you're talking about," she said of critics and skeptics. "If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you're outta your mind. It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty things that you can ever feel."
Panettiere returned to the red carpet at the Ein Herz Feur Kinder Gala in December and will return as Juliette on the March 16 episode of Nashville. The actress shared a photo of Klitschko and their daughter Saturday on Twitter, writing, "The loves of my life @klitschko."
Hayden Panettiere shared a photo of Wladimir Klitschko and their daughter on Saturday. Photo by Hayden Panettiere