Hayden Panettiere: 'Talking Depression is a Gift'

Actress Hayden Panettiere has been open about her battle with postpartum depression—and she now says that opening up about her woes has actually helped her.

Hayden Panettiere: 'Talking Depression is a Gift' Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com

Hayden Panettiere has been remarkably candid about her struggle with postpartum depression—and it turns out, honesty just might the very thing that's gotten her through the difficult time.

The Nashville actress walked the red carpet for the Critics Choice Awards on January 17, calling the experience of being back in the limelight after undergoing treatment for her depression "so new." This was the star's first red carpet appearance since she began treatment in October.

"It feels different for me because of things that I've gone through recently, over the last year," she told People. "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."

The star has been applauded for her honesty in the face of her postpartum woes. "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," she said.

One thing is clear: We can expect to see more of Hayden on the red carpet from here on out. She's handling herself with exceptional grace and it's paying off—she said she enjoyed this public experience "so much more because I don't feel like I have to hide anymore."

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