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"Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere has been open about her struggles with postpartum depression after giving birth to her first child last year.

Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images.


"It's something that needs to be talked about," Panettiere said in a recent interview on "Live! With Kelly and Michael."

What is postpartum depression?

According to the National Institute of Health, while it's normal to feel periodic sadness after giving birth, when the feelings don't go away or kick in more than a month late — that's postpartum depression.

Much like regular depression, it's a clinical condition that requires medical and therapeutic attention. And much like regular depression, it can happen to anyone.

Yesterday, Panettiere announced she was taking a bold step: getting help.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

According to an E! News report, the actor checked herself to a facility to try and get the help she needs to fully recover. Her rep said this:

"Hayden Panettiere is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression. She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time."

So ... good for her, I guess, but why is this a big deal? Who cares?

One big reason we should care:

The stigma against postpartum depression — or any kind of depression — is unfortunately still strong.

Photo via Lisa Runnels/Pixabay.

Many people still equate suffering from depression with "being depressed," "having a bad day," or "just being sad" and expect those who suffer from it to be able to simply "snap out of it," the way you would a regular mood. Many who struggle with mental illness report feeling misunderstood and that their experiences are minimized, ignored, or dismissed.

Last month, Panettiere admitted she was experiencing this difficulty in the interview with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.

"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."

Many employers still discriminate against people with mental health issues, making it even harder for people suffering from them to openly seek treatment.

Scientific American notes a 2010 survey found 40% of British employers consider mental illness a "risk" factor in a potential job candidate. In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents such discrimination in theory, but not so much in reality. A 2001 study published in Ohio State Law Journal calculated that around 90% of plaintiffs who bring suit against their employers for violating the law — whether for discrimination regarding physical or mental disabilities — ultimately fail to prove wrongdoing.

Panettiere deserves a lot of credit for getting the support she needs.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.

It's not easy to admit you need help, especially for someone as constantly-in-the-public-eye as Panettiere. But mental illness, like any illness, requires professional treatment. And Panettiere is setting a terrific example by reminding people they shouldn't be afraid to seek it — and challenging those who would judge them for it.

As she put it in a recent interview:

"Women need to know that they're not alone, and that it does heal."

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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