Postpartum depression signs, treatment & definition: Hayden Panettiere seeks professional help

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Oct 14, 2015 11:20 AM EDT

Actress Hayden Panettiere has decided to check into a treatment facility to get professional help for postpartum depression.

Panettiere's representative issued a statement to ABC News which read, "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."

The 26-year-old star of "Nashville" and "Heroes" disclosed her experiences on postpartum depression last month during an episode of "Live with Kelly and Michael," according to a news report by US Weekly.

Panettiere is not the first celebrity who has admitted to experiencing postpartum depression. Huffington Post made a list of celebrities who suffered from postpartum depression which includes Courtney Cox, Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Giving birth can set off an array of feelings, not all of which are positive. Mayo Clinic states that it's common for new moms to have mood swings, difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious or wanting to cry all of a sudden.

According to the report, postpartum depression occurs when the symptoms become more severe and last longer. As a result, it affects the mother's ability to handle daily tasks or care for the baby.

If not treated, Mayo says that these symptoms could last for several months or more.

It is important to seek help or treatment if the symptoms get worse or do not go away after two weeks. The report suggests seeking help immediately if thoughts of suicide or harming the infant arise.

One possible course of treatment is seeking help from a counselor or mental health professional such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. NHS states that there two types of talking therapies: interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

Through these sessions, individuals are offered to disclose issues, find solutions or more positive ways to coping and set realistic goals, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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

Another possible treatment course is taking antidepressants. The Canadian Mental Health Association states that there are medications that can help patients with their appetite or get better sleep.

However, it is important to talk to a doctor before taking any medication, especially when breastfeeding. According to the NHS, medications containing fluoxetine and some types of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors should be avoided as they can make the taker feel nauseous, agitated or dizzy.

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