Naomi Judd Discusses Mental Illness, Estrangement from Daughter Wynonna

Over the past handful of years, Naomi Judd has resisted any attention from the spotlight. But now she’s taking her dedicated platform from country music to devote herself to the forefront of the battles against anxiety and depression.

During an intimate interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Judd got candid about her mental illness experiences and the truthful effects every treatment has had on her body. Telling the morning talk show co-host about the dramatic physical changes she’s seen, she also mentioned how many different types of programs or medications she’s had to cycle through in order to find one adapted correctly to her fight.

“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,” she said.

After she and her daughter, Wynonna, stopped their regular tour schedule as the Judds to take time to focus on their own health, Judd felt herself in an emotional and mental downward spiral that she could not take herself out of on her own.

“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 admitted of her behavior.

Many of her experiences have been documented throughout her newest book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, and she gets brutally honest about the tolls that her severe depression and anxiety have put on her throughout the past few years.

One of the day-to-day aspects of her life, though, is dealing with the estrangement from her daughter and former singing partner, Wynonna. Although Judd still cares for her child with so much love, she finds that the detachment from the relationship has allowed them both to discover what makes them happy and comfortable.

“I love her but there are just times we need a break from each other,” Judd said. “We’re still a little estranged from each other. And that happens with mother, daughters. If she sees this, and I hope she does, ’cause the smartest thing is for all of us to feel known, no matter what’s goin’ on. Be truthful. I think she’ll say, ‘Good for you, Mom, for finally being willing to talk about the bad stuff.’”

River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope is on sale now.