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Naomi Judd on “Severe Depression,” Needing “Break” From Daughter Wynonna

There was a time when the Judds were really one of the most successful, fierce groups in country music. It was Naomi Judd at the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel Wilike this mother/daughter duo were a twanging answer to the sisters who comprise the rock group, Heart. It was a great time, one for which many fans are, undoubtedly, grateful but behind it all, there was pain.

Loyal followers have likely read the stories and seen the made-for-television movie about how hard things were for Naomi Judd and her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the matriarch retreated from the public eye for a while to tend to her wounds.

Seeking Help

In an interview with Good Morning America, Naomi said: “What I’ve been through is extreme. My final diagnosis was severe depression. Treatment resistant because they tried me on every single thing they had in their arsenal. It really felt like, if I live through this I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”

The 70-year-old talked with Robin Roberts and was noticeably heavier than she has been over the years. Not that there’s anything wrong with gaining weight, of course, but it has always been clear that Naomi cares a lot about her appearance.

Addressing this topic, she told Roberts: “They see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am but then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks, and not get out of my pajamas, and not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.”

She knew she needed help, and has been admitted for psychiatric care multiple times, but the search for the right medication has left her with shaky hands and a face that swells up “like a balloon. I really haven’t been eating ice cream and candy,” she joked. “I really haven’t.”

Relationship with Daughters

In an effort to take her recovery into her own hands, she would go for walks, oftentimes choosing to head up to the front step of her daughter’s house. Ashley, according to her mother, would come out and hug her for encouragement, whenever she was home.

In describing her actress daughter, Naomi said: “Ashley and I are so stinking much alike. We have the same mannerisms. We both read a whole lot. We both love new places. There’s such similarities.” The pair certainly resemble!

Meanwhile, the singer had the opposite to say of her relationship with older daughter, Wynonna, whom Naomi says “bore the brunt of all the mistakes” she made. Admitting that they have “been through a lot of therapy together,” Naomi echoes what, surely, many parents say – “If I’d known better I would’ve done better.”

Sometimes, of course, this acknowledgement is not enough to inspire healing. Naomi says that there are times when they simply need “a break” from each other but believes that Wynonna would be happy to know that her mother is making progress in her recovery from mental illness.

Fans who want to know more about Naomi’s journey can pick up a copy of her new memoir, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.

Naomi Judd on “Severe Depression,” Needing “Break” From Daughter Wynonna

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2016). Naomi Judd on “Severe Depression,” Needing “Break” From Daughter Wynonna. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Dec 2016
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