Hayden Panettiere was "really surprised" by the support she received when she sought treatment for postpartum depression.
The 26-year-old actress checked into a facility in October – 10 months after the birth of her and fiancé Wladamir Klitschko’s daughter Kaya – and she is "proud" to now be seen as a spokesperson and a role model for other mothers gripped by the condition.
She said: "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.
"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 returned to work on ‘Nashville’ – on which she plays country singer Juliette Barnes – earlier this month and admits she initially found it tough going back on set.
Speaking to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ on the red carpet at last night’s (17.01.16) Critics’ Choice Awards – at which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – she said: "To be honest it was kind of a rocky start for me and especially emotionally.
"The first scene that I did the other day when I saw certain people that I haven’t seen in a while and I felt really comfortable — I just lost it and I couldn’t keep it together. So, it held us up for a second but we got it at the end."