Patrick Hoffmann / WENN 1 / 6
Patrick Hoffmann / WENN 1 / 6

Hayden Panettiere is speaking out about what it was like to battle postpartum depression in the public eye.

Last September, the 26-year-old "Nashville" star sought treatment for postpartum depression following the birth of her and fiance Wladimir Klitschko's daughter Kaya in December 2014, and now she's telling Yahoo! Style about the support she received.

"I was always so terrified that people weren't going to accept me," she said. "I finally just went, 'I'm tired of living afraid. I'm tired of living in fear of what people are going to think, so you know, I'm just going to put it all out there on the table and I'm not going to worry about the judgment.'"

She added, "The more open I was, the more acceptance I got from people."

In fact, the amount of support surprised her.

"I got so much support and so much love. I was floored," she added. "I feel much more exposed, yes, but in a great way."

Not only did Hayden battle with postpartum depression, but it felt all too real to play her "Nashville" role as her character Juliette Barnes is also dealing with it.

"It was strange having to throw myself back into that frame of mind," she admitted. "The way I do things is to pull from my own personal experience and sometimes even turn myself into what I'm portraying so that I can pull from my life and step into that person's shoes by being able to relate."

And for anyone who can't relate and is critical about those suffering from postpartum depression, Hayden has words for them.

"It's like you have no idea what you're talking about," she said. "If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you're outta your mind. It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings that you can ever feel. That a mother would not be able to connect with their child, would not be able to get a grip, or would not know what's going on, for anybody to say that it's false or created by us, you must have your head examined."

After her dramatic last appearance on the Nov. 18 episode of "Nashville," Juliette is set to return to the show during its fourth season. "Nashville" comes back to ABC on March 16.