Hayden Panettiere says she was "floored" by the support given to her after she spoke out about and sought treatment for postpartum depression.
The 26-year-old "Nashville" star said last September she had battled the ailmentfollowing the birth of her and fiancé Wladimir Klitschko's daughter Kaya in December 2014. The actress later checked into a treatment center.
"I was always so terrified that people weren't going to accept me," Panettiere told Yahoo! Style, which features her in a photo spread. "I finally just went, 'I'm tired of living afraid. I'm tired of living in fear of what people are going to think, so you know, I'm just going to put it all out there on the table and I'm not going to worry about the judgment.'"
"The more open I was, the more acceptance I got from people," she added. "I got so much support and so much love. I was floored. I feel much more exposed, yes, but in a great way."
Her "Nashville" character, Juliette, also battles postpartum depression.
"It was strange having to throw myself back into that frame of mind," Panettiere told Yahoo! Style. "The way I do things is to pull from my own personal experience and sometimes even turn myself into what I'm portraying so that I can pull from my life and step into that person's shoes by being able to relate."
Nearly 15 percent of women suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth. Treatment includes counseling or antidepressants.
Some people feel postpartum depression is not a real ailment. Such thinking angers Panettiere.
"It's like you have no idea what you're talking about," she told Yahoo! Style. "If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way towards her child, you're outta your mind."