Hayden Panettiere in treatment for postnatal depression

Hayden Panettiere in a photo shared on Twitter.
Hayden Panettiere in a photo shared on Twitter.  Photo: Twitter

Nashville and Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere has checked into a rehabilitation centre to seek help as she battles postnatal depression.

The 26-year-old has been battling the illness following the birth of her daughter Kaya in December 2014.

On Tuesday it was revealed that Panettiere has taken the next step in her struggle and is seeking professional help at a treatment facility.

"Hayden Panettiere is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment centre as she is currently battling postpartum depression," a representative for the actress told US Weekly in a statement. "She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time."

Kaya is the first child for Panettiere and fiancé Wladimir Klitschko.

The star plays a new mum with PND on hit TV drama Nashville, and she recently spoke about how she could relate to her character as she went public with her own issues.

"It's something a lot of women experience," she told morning show Live! with Kelly and Michael. "When (you're told) about postpartum depression you think it's, 'I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child', but I've never, ever had those feelings.

"Some women do. But you don't realise how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on.

"It's something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they're not alone, and that it does heal."

Regarding the stigma surrounding PND, she added, "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.

"But it's something that's completely uncontrollable. It's really painful and it's really scary and women need a lot of support."

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