Fans of “The Vampire Diaries” were shocked when Nina Dobrev confirmed the recent rumors and announced her departure from the CW series Monday. She has been playing Elena Gilbert on the show since 2009 and is considered the star, along with her love interests Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley). So why is Dobrev leaving her own hit show?

The actress explained that leaving after six years was the plan for quite some time. “I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime,” Dobrev wrote on Instagram.

Executive producer Julie Plec explained that Dobrev had plans to travel and rest after six years of working on the show. “Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold,” Plec said in a statement. Throughout most of her tenure on the show, the 26-year-old actress has often pulled double duty playing both ingénue Elena and the villainous Katherine (and the occasional other doppelganger like Tatia or Amara).

The TV star is leaving all of those characters behind, most likely, to work on movies. While filming “The Vampire Diaries,” Dobrev has filmed several films that were relatively successful. She appeared in the drama “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in 2012 and showed off her comedic talents in “Let’s Be Cops” last summer. This year, Dobrev has jumped into the horror genre with “Final Girls,” which premiered at SXSW last month.

While it seems the “Degrassi” alum is leaving for professional reasons, there are some rumors that the exit has something to do with her personal life. Dobrev dated her co-star Ian Somerhalder, 36, for three years, but they broke up in 2013. While the couple has remained professional publicly, Dobrev supposedly doesn’t like Somerhalder’s fiancée Nikki Reed, and it has put a strain on Dobrev and Somerhalder’s friendship. It even reportedly made Somerhalder’s directorial debut difficult.

“Nina was acting cold towards Ian on set,” a source told Hollywood Life. “Nina was kinda mean to Ian. He was directing her and moving her around and she would barely answer him.”

It's worth noting that Somerhalder wasn’t included in pictures from Dobrev’s lake house vacation on Instagram, which included various cast and crewmembers from “The Vampire Diaries.”

Whether Dobrev’s reasons for leaving were professional or personal, the show will continue without her. The supernatural series was renewed for Season 7 earlier this year. The CW network said in a statement on Monday that Somerhalder’s character and Paul Wesley’s character would be the main focus. “We look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble,” the network said.

“The Vampire Diaries” Season 6 returns Thursday, April 16, at 8 p.m. EDT.