Hayden Panettiere shares what she wished she knew about postpartum depression
Written by ABC AUDIO on March 27, 2023
(NEW YORK) — Hayden Panettiere, who hasn’t shied away from talking about postpartum depression, is sharing what she wishes she knew beforehand.
The Scream 6 star welcomed her daughter Kaya back in 2014, but said she wasn’t aware that postpartum depression could affect her.
“I wish somebody told me that that was a possibility, told me it’s OK if you birth your child and you’re not immediately like, ‘Oh my god, I love you more than anything in the entire world!'” Panettiere told E News’ The Rundown.
“I just thought there was something seriously wrong with me, so I thought, ‘Fireball will fix this — duh!'” the 33-year-old continued, referencing a brand of cinnamon whisky. “And it didn’t. It does for a moment, but then it makes everything worse.”
About 20% of women are not asked about depression during a prenatal visit and over half of pregnant women with depression are not treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Panettiere has spoken out about postpartum depression in the past and said it led in part to her struggles with alcoholism as well. Last July, the actor told ABC News’ Good Morning America and People magazine in an exclusive joint interview that she “didn’t know where the alcoholism was ending and the postpartum was beginning.”
“I didn’t have any negative feelings towards my child,” she said at the time. “I just knew I was deeply depressed.”
About 1 in 8 women report symptoms of depression after giving birth, according to the CDC.
Usually, the condition starts about one to three weeks after a child’s birth, but can occur up to a year after birth.
“When we think of postpartum depression, there are many signs that come immediately after delivery and that can include worthlessness and guilt, not feeling an immediate emotional or physical bond with your baby, decreased sleep, decreased appetite and possible feelings of suicide,” Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a board-certified OB-GYN and the chief medical officer for Verywell Health, who did not treat Panettiere, told GMA.
Unlike the “baby blues,” which can appear within a couple of days after a child’s birth and resolve within two weeks, the CDC notes postpartum depression, and the intense feelings of sadness, anxiety and hopelessness that accompany it, usually requires medical treatment.
Other symptoms of postpartum depression, according to the CDC, include withdrawing from loved ones, crying more than usual, feeling worried or overly anxious, feeling anger, doubting your ability to take care of your baby and thinking about harming yourself or your baby.
Today, Panettiere said she’s doing better and said her daughter has “more love than anybody I’ve ever met.” Although Panettiere didn’t say what type of treatment she sought, current treatment options for postpartum depression usually include therapy or medications or a combination of both, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Panettiere has been just one of many celebrities, including Serena Williams, Alanis Morissette and Kylie Jenner, who have spoken publicly about postpartum depression in recent years, helping to destigmatize the health issue.
If you are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises please call or text 988. Trained crisis counselors are available for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to 988lifeline.org or dial the current toll free number 800-273-8255 [TALK].
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