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Hayden Panettiere feared response to depression confession

HAYDEN Panettiere was "terrified" people wouldn't "accept" her if they knew she suffered from postpartum depression.

The 26-year-old actress - who has 15-month-old daughter Kaya with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko - opened up about her struggle with the condition last September, later checking into a treatment centre, and has admitted she was "floored" by the outpouring of support she received.

She said: "I was always so terrified that people weren't going to accept me.

"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. I got so much support and so much love. I was floored. I feel much more exposed, yes, but in a great way."

The 'Nashville' star's alter ego Juliette has also been battling the same condition and she found it "strange" having to go back to that frame of mind for the show.

She told Yahoo! Style: "It was strange having to throw myself back into that frame of mind.

"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."

And Hayden also spoke of how angry she feels when people claim postpartum depression isn't a real illness.

She said: "It's like you have no idea what you're talking about. If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way towards her child, you're outta your mind."