Naomi Judd, who left at 76, wrote about her mental illness in a recent book


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As news of Grammy-winning artist Naomi Judd’s death on Saturday afternoon, April 30, 2022 circulated widely, many recalled that her recent book, “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope,” spoke directly to his battle with mental illness.

NAOMI JUDD DEAD AT 67

“River of Time” was released in 2016 by Hachette/Center Street.

At the beginning of the book, in a dedication, Judd wrote that “even in the darkest days” of her battle with depression, “I was never blinded by the compassion of my loved ones who continually stretched hand with loving hands and lifted me out of my heartbreaking nightmare of despair,” she said.

Wynonna Judd, left, and her mother Naomi Judd of The Judds perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta on January 30, 1994.
(AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

“Thanks to you, I can tell my story,” she added.

She described feeling “the rock-like weight of my treatment-resistant severe depression and terrifying panic attacks”.

In the book, she detailed how the world “knows me as the mum half of the Judds singing duo.”

She said her life was filled with “interesting people, different landscapes, new things to learn and uplifting events”.

She also said that “just when we were reaching the top of the show business world, in 1990, the doctors told me that I only had three years left to live”.

That’s when she was diagnosed with hepatitis C, which she said she unknowingly contracted while working as a nurse, “before the Judds took off.”

Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California October 6, 2012. Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of award-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, announced her family on Saturday April 30, 2022. She was 76 years old.

Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California October 6, 2012. Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of award-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, announced her family on Saturday April 30, 2022. She was 76 years old.
(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

She pushed through it – “all I could do was fight to survive,” she wrote in her book.

She was declared free of the disease in 1995.

But then came this, somewhere in the time frame of 2010: she said her life was filled with “interesting people, different landscapes, new things to learn, and uplifting events.”

Wynonna Judd (left) and Naomi Judd are pictured together here.

Wynonna Judd (left) and Naomi Judd are pictured together here.
(Reuters)

And then: “I had plenty of reasons to jump out of bed every morning. Never did I expect that just a few months after the Encore tour [in 2010] over, I would feel like I had every reason to jump off a bridge to end my tortured existence.”

She went on to describe how depression “robbed me of time”.

The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.

She also wrote, “I’ve learned the hard way that mental health issues cover a wide range of disorders and can be difficult to diagnose.”

She also said, “I didn’t know I had post-traumatic stress disorder due to pathological situations and issues passed down from generation to generation with the traumatic events in my own life.”

Country artist Naomi Judd arrives at the 35th Academy of Country Music Awards May 3, 2000 at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City.

Country artist Naomi Judd arrives at the 35th Academy of Country Music Awards May 3, 2000 at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City.
(Reuters)

She also detailed in “River of Time,” which she wrote with Marcia Wilkie, that she knew she “certainly wasn’t alone in her despair” — that several million people in the United States “suffer one form of depression…and two-thirds of us wait too long to seek help.”

And this: “Change is the very nature of this world. Change will happen for all of us.

On Saturday, Ashley Judd shared a tweet with her fans about the “tragedy” the family has just gone through.

Naomi Judd died near Nashville, Tennessee, according to a statement on behalf of her husband and fellow singer, Larry Strickland.

He said no further details of his death would be released and asked for confidentiality as the family grieved, the Associated Press noted. Naomi Judd was the mother of Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd.

Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., shared in a tweet a heartfelt message of condolence about the “remarkable” Naomi Judd – “wife, mother and friend.”

The singing duo known as The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Additionally, Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd had just announced an arena tour that would begin in the fall — it would have been their first tour together in over a decade.

The Judds have won numerous awards over the years, including Grammys.

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If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


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