Hayden Panettiere Had Jaundice, Suffered Hair Loss Due to Alcohol and Opioids Addiction

The 'Nashville' alum admits she realized her body had enough of the unhealthy lifestyle after her eyes turned 'yellow,' her face 'was swollen' and her hair 'was coming out in clumps.'

AceShowbiz - After battling alcohol and opioids addiction for years, Hayden Panettiere has become sober for several months now. In a recent interview, the actress opens up about the shocking toll that booze and substance abuse have taken on her body.

Speaking to Women's Health U.K., the Claire Bennet of "Heroes" says that she began drinking to cope with stress at age 22, after she moved to Nashville. "Some people work out. I wish that was my coping mechanism," she says. "Alcohol might make you feel better in that moment, but it makes you feel so much worse the next day, and then you do it all over again."

Her drinking got more excessive in 2014 after giving birth to her daughter and dealing with crippling postpartum depression, which she describes as feelings of "extreme hopelessness" and "like all the walls are closing in."

Around the same time, her old neck injury flared up and Hayden began taking opioids to deal with the pain. "I was in a lot of pain," she shares. "My tolerance got so high so fast that it became a problem." Soon, she found herself in a vicious cycle, alternating between opioids and alcohol.

"I should have gone on antidepressants [to cope with the postpartum depression], but you have to find the right one that works for you," she explains. "They don't mix well with alcohol, and I wasn't ready to stop drinking."

Hayden says it was her decision to enter rehab in the middle of production on "Nashville" season 4 in 2015. "I was the one who put myself in the first treatment center," she says. "I was drowning."

After completing the treatment, the mother of one decided to leave the industry and the public eye to work on herself but returned to drinking to manage anxiety. "I struggled with sleep deprivation," she admits. "Sleep is massive. It affects your motor skills, your ability to think, and your overall health."

It wasn't until the alcohol and opioids began affecting her health that she reached the turning point of her life. "My body was like, 'enough,' " she recalls. "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."

Hayden went back to treatment in 2021, enrolled in a 12-step program and even went to trauma therapy. "I did a lot of work on myself," she explains of this soul-searching period. "After eight months of intensive therapy, I felt like I had this blank canvas to work with."

But her recovery process didn't stop there. "My body still didn't feel like it belonged to me," she says of her decision to get a breast reduction surgery in November 2022. "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."

Hayden finally returned to acting in "Scream VI". She reprised her role as Kirby Reed following a brief appearance in 2022's "Scream" using her photograph.

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