Hayden Panettiere is on the mend.
The Nashville star, 26, “is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression,” her rep tells PEOPLE.
“She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time.”
Michael Sterling Eaton
“It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re 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. Some women do. 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.”
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She continued, “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.”
Added Panettiere, “Women are amazing. We do something that no man can do on this planet. I mean, we grow a human being in our body!”
— Sarah Michaud with reporting by Julie Jordan