Ever since revealing she checked in to rehab to seek treatment for portpartum depression, Hayden Panettiere has been wonderfully candid about her struggle. Now the Nashville star is defending herself against haters who seem to think her condition was “a choice.” Seriously people?
In a recent interview with Yahoo Style, the 26-year-old mom talked openly about seeking treatment for postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Kaya Evdokia Klitschko.
“I was always so terrified that people weren’t going to accept me,” she said in the interview. “I finally just went, I’m tired of living afraid … I’m just going to put it all out there on the table and I’m not going to worry about the judgment.”
And to the critics, Panettiere said, “If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you’re outta your mind. It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings you can ever feel. For anybody to say that it’s false or created by us, you must have your head examined.”
Panettiere is right. Despite many misconceptions, postpartum depression is a very real condition that often goes undiagnosed because women are unaware or ashamed of their symptoms, an article in U.K’s Telegraph reports.
Here are five things you should know about the condition.
1. It’s different from the typical depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of postpartum often include severe anxiety, excessive crying, and difficulty to bond with your baby.
2. Latinas could be more at risk. A 2012 study by Postpartum Support International found that Latinas are 37 percent more likely to suffer from postpartum depression, compared to 25 percent for the general population.
"Many of us grow up hearing messages like, 'Una madre sacrifica todo por sus hijos, si no eres madre no eres mujer,'" says Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW, a psychotherapist unrelated to the study, who specializes in treating maternal mental health issues in Latina women. "The high expectations we have of each other as mothers and the stigma associated with seeking support if you are feeling depressed or anxious just keeps women from even talking about their feelings with friends and family, which consequently increases their isolation and symptoms."
3. It often goes undiagnosed. Many new moms feel unable to speak about their experiences openly. “They feel they’ll be perceived as failing at motherhood, or they fear they’ll have their baby taken away,” says Dr. Sarah McMullen, head of research at the National Childbirth Trust. “Even when they do speak out, there are huge gaps in the mental health services.”
4. It can happen months after your baby is born. Many women believe if they don’t get postpartum depression immediately after giving birth, they won’t get it at all. However, according to Med Ed PPD, postpartum can happen at any time within the first year of your child’s birth.
5. Postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad mom. Feeling depressed after your baby’s birth doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. Postpartum is a treatable condition. Getting the right medical attention at the right time will make life much happier for both you and your baby.