Hayden Panettiere is checking herself into treatment for depression. Here's why it's a big deal.

"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."

Family
Vaping 360

A young doctor has taken to TikTok, the new social media app popular among Gen. Z, to share information about important health issues, including the negative side effects of vaping.

Dr. Rose Marie Leslie, 29, is a second-year family resident at the University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic.

When she first joined the platform six months ago, she initially started sharing videos about her hectic life as a resident. But whenever she'd share videos with medical facts, she noticed more comments and likes.


Dr. Leslie on TikTok www.tiktok.com


Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

There's nothing like a good reunion story to get you misty in the ol' tear ducts. Kate Howard, the managing editor of Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, shared a story of randomly running into the dog she used to foster on Twitter. You know all those dog reunion movies? The ones with names like A Dog's Hope and A Dog's Sloppy Kiss? The ones that make you cry buckets no matter how hard you think your heart is? Well, this is that, but in real life.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular