Hayden Panettiere sheds light on postpartum depression

Hayden Panettiere sheds light on postpartum depression

Juliette Barnes, the name of the demanding, arrogant country pop diva in the hit TV show Nashville, is accused of suffering from postpartum depression after neglecting her baby to focus on her career. Little did Hayden Panettiere know that her character would mirror her own life.

I can very much relate,” Panettiere said on Live! With Kelly and Michael during a taping in late September. “But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”

After giving birth to her daughter 10 months ago, she spoke very openly about her experience with postpartum depression.

“It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you are told] about postpartum depression, you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child; I want to injure or hurt my child’ I’ve never, ever had those feelings….There’s a lot of misunderstanding,” she said.

According to the American Psychological Association, postpartum depression is a serious mental health issue characterized by a prolonged period of emotional disturbance, occurring at a time of major life change and increased responsibilities in the care of a newborn child.

Dr. Dipti Patel, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Advocate Dreyer Medical Clinic in Aurora, Ill., says that women sometimes misinterpret the symptoms for something normal.

“There is a feeling of guilt and denial that women go through when they are experiencing symptoms like insomnia, decreased appetite, lack of energy and decreased libido,” says Dr. Patel. “If any woman is going through this, she should seek medical attention immediately.”

Other symptoms can also include guilt, feeling overwhelmed, unable to care for the baby or feeling inadequate, Dr. Patel says.

More serious signs like auditory hallucinations that instruct the mother to harm herself or baby have been present with postpartum psychosis.

Panettiere feels that women need to become more comfortable talking about some side effects that come with motherhood.

“It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable and it’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support,” Panettiere says.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.