Hayden Panettiere Is "So Proud" To Represent Women With Postpartum Depression & Her Strength Is Admirable

Ever since she was a little kid, Hayden Panettiere has appeared in countless TV shows and movies. You may recognize her from Remember The Titans or her various Law & Order: SVU cameos. Of course, she also starred on Heroes. Although she grew up in the spotlight, Panettiere took a break to seek treatment for postpartum depression back in October 2015. On Sunday night, Panettiere attended the Critics Choice Awards and made her first public appearance since receiving treatment. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Nashville, and it's been confirmed that she'll be returning to show later this season. On the red carpet, Panettiere opened up about her battle with postpartum depression and her words on the subject are inspiring. Addressing the support she's received, the 26-year-old told Entertainment Tonight,

I didn't even look at social media. Then, when I looked, people were like, "Oh my gosh, good for you," and I am so proud to be a spokesperson and a woman that people can look to and to know that they're not alone and they're not weak if they go and they seek help.

She's right, she should be proud! That's such an important message to spread. It's incredibly courageous for the actor to open up and let others know they're not alone. Her daughter Kaya was born in December 2014, and she's the first child of Panettiere and husband Wladimir Klitschko.

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

While fans and the media were quick to support Panettiere, she was actually surprised by this. She told Entertainment Tonight, "I've gotten an incredible amount of support and I was actually really surprised 'cause I feel like I grew up in this industry that, in my mind, was very judgmental." It's nice to hear that she proved herself wrong.

In September, Panettiere first opened up about postpartum depression on Live! With Kelly & Michael and her words were equally powerful. She said,

There’s a lot of misunderstanding — there’s a lot of people out there that think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their minds, that "Oh, it’s hormones." 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.

Honestly, her openness is awesome! In sharing her story, she's helping break the stigma surrounding mental health. Plus, it's wonderful news that she's feeling better and working through this. All she really can do is take it one day at a time, and it's great to see her back on the red carpet.