Kirby is back, and so is Hayden Panettiere. After battling substance abuse and postpartum depression, the NASHVILLE and SCREAM VI star is ready for her next chapter. She is discovering new purpose in renovating her long-held home, nourishing herself via self-care practices, and returning to work. “In therapy, I kept wanting to go back to the beginning of the period of time where I was really happy and healthy,” she told WOMEN’S HEALTH in January of reprising her role as Kirby Reed in SCREAM VI. And she feels closer to Kirby than ever. “She has that human trauma, and it’s changed her. That’s something I can obviously relate to.”
In conversation with Vera Papisova for the April 2023 WOMEN’S HEALTH cover story, Hayden shared more about how she is rebuilding from the inside out—and becoming the strongest, healthiest version of herself. Plus, in her Women’s Health “Body Scan” video, Hayden discusses the beauty of her C-section scar, her current approach to health & wellness, tips for glowing skin & natural hair, and the impactful ways she manages her mental health.
On finding herself in a vicious cycle, alternating between opioids and alcohol, to cope with postpartum depression: “I should have gone on antidepressants [to cope with the postpartum depression], but you have to find the right one that works for you. They don’t mix well with alcohol, and I wasn’t ready to stop drinking.”
On how her storyline in Nashville was an example of art imitating her life, a cruel twist of fate: “They wrote my character as having postpartum depression. They wrote that she abandoned her child and went to a different country. And it was very difficult to go on-set and to act out these feelings about these things that I was truly going through in my real life.”
On how her physical health caved after leaving the industry and the public eye: “I struggled with sleep deprivation. Sleep is massive. It affects your motor skills, your ability to think, and your overall health. My body was like, ‘enough.’ I hit 30. My face was swollen. I had jaundice. My eyes were yellow. I had to go to a liver specialist. I was holding on to weight that wasn’t normally there. My hair was thin and coming out in clumps.”
On returning to treatment in 2021, enrolling in a 12-step program and trauma therapy: “I did a lot of work on myself. After eight months of intensive therapy, I felt like I had this blank canvas to work with.”
On reclaiming herself after childbirth and why she decided to get a breast reduction in 2022: “My body still didn’t feel like it belonged to me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with somebody who wants to tweak something if it makes them feel more confident. That’s all I have to say about it. My confidence is back.”
On learning to connect with herself emotionally and view her journey with compassion: “A big part of my therapy has been living in forgiveness. A step in the 12-step program is making amends. If somebody wants to be a good person and to be the best version of themselves, they can choose to do that.”
On her return to acting for Scream VI, and what she has in common with her character, Kirby: They’re both survivors: “In therapy, I kept wanting to go back to the beginning of the period of time where I was really happy and healthy…. We saw Kirby get stabbed, but we never saw her die. We didn’t see her rescued either. She has that human trauma, and it’s changed her. That’s something I can obviously relate to.”
[Photo Credit: Kimber Capriotti for Women’s Health Magazine]
T LOunge for March 6th, 2023 Next Post:
Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh and Aubrey Plaza at the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards
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