Celebrity

Hayden Panettiere addressed her postpartum depression on the Critics’ Choice red carpet

“I’m 26 years old. I’m a mom. I don’t need to be afraid of what people are going to think.”

It was awesome to see a certain Miss Hayden Panettiere walking the red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Awards, made even more awesome by her positive comments.

It was one of the first public events attended by Hayden since she sought help in a treatment facility for postpartum depression.

“I've gotten an incredible amount of support and I was actually really surprised cause I feel like I grew up in this industry that, in my mind, was very judgmental,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

“I didn't even look at social media. Then, when I looked, people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, good for you,’ and I am so proud to be a spokesperson and a woman that people can look to and to know that they're not alone and they're not weak if they go and they seek help.”

Hayden took a break from filming Nashville while she sought treatment, but has now returned to work and will be back on screens in April.

She told PEOPLE magazine that she’s glad she doesn’t put up a façade anymore. “I’ve really gone, ‘You know what, I’ve been in this industry for so long, forget it!’ I’ve been hiding myself. Just putting out the smiling face, showing people this, and allowing that veil to come down — it’s like a weight off my shoulders.”

“I’m 26 years old. I’m a mom. I don’t need to be afraid of what people are going to think. I saw how much people rallied behind me when I was honest, and I didn’t know that honesty could be such a gift.”

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RELATED VIDEO: Hayden Panetierre opens up about post-natal depression