Hayden Panettiere on Postpartum Depression: “It’s Like Being in a Tunnel”
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Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere on Postpartum Depression: “It’s Like Being in a Tunnel”

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Hayden Panettiere is on the mend from her postpartum depression and sending words of advice to anyone else going through it.

The Nashville star opened up about her recent stint in treatment to get her health back in check after the birth of daughter Kaya Evdokia in December 2014.

NEWS: Hayden Panettiere Gets Candid About Postpartum Depression

“The biggest message that I’ve been trying to promote for women is that it’s OK to ask for help,” the 26-year-old actress told People. “You feel mommy guilt — it’s for real.”

From how the former Heroes star tells it, postpartum depression is quite a scary thing for new moms and she’s telling other moms they’re not less than when coming forward.

“It’s like being in a tunnel,” she explained. “You can’t even remember when you felt good. You try and think back to when you felt good, when you felt positive, when you felt happy, and you can’t. All you see is this enveloping darkness.”

PHOTO: Hayden Panettiere Debuts Post-Baby Body After Treatment

So now that the New York native is on the mend — and finally returning to Nashville in the April 6 episode — she’s acknowledging that this has been a lesson learned.

“I’ve just been trying to be much more open and honest about who I am,” she continued. “I’m 26 years old, I’m an adult, and [I don’t] have to falsify who I am.”

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.