Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Naomi Judd Spoke Up About Her Mental Health Battle Before Her Death

Naomi Judd Opened Up About Her Mental Health Battle Prior To Her Death
  • Arden is a Senior Country Music Journalist for Country Thang Daily, specializing in classic hits and contemporary chart-toppers.
  • Prior to joining Country Thang Daily, Arden wrote for Billboard and People magazine, covering country music legends and emerging artists.
  • Arden holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, with a minor in Music Studies.

Trigger Warning (TW): Mental Health (MH), Mental Illness (MI), and Mention of Suicide

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

Last April 30, Naomi Judd, one-half of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, passed away at the age of 76. The news was announced through a statement provided by her daughters Wynonna and Ashley to the Associated Press. And The Judds official Instagram account also posted the statement which read: “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”

The country music singer died near Nashville, Tennessee, and according to a statement on behalf of Naomi’s husband and fellow singer, Larry Strickland, no further details about her death would be released. Additionally, the family asks for privacy as they grieve. 

But before her death, Naomi Judd has been bravely open about her struggles with her mental health. She wrote a book, shared her personal experience through a piece, and talked about it. It wasn’t easy, but she did. And she hoped that if she lived through it, she wanted someone to see and know that they can survive it as well. 

Opening Up: Descent into Depression

Back in 2016, years after leaving the public eye, Naomi opened up about her life-long battle with depression and mental health illness. In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, which was aired on Good Morning America, Naomi revealed how ‘completely debilitating and life-threatening’ her depression was. She also documented her struggles in her memoir, ‘River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.’ 

To most people, she was that successful country music star. People saw her in rhinestones with glitter in her hair, but when all of that was done, she would come home and not leave her house for three weeks. She wouldn’t even get out of her pajamas, and her hygiene practice was really bad.

And it was in 2011, during the conclusion of The Judds’ “Last Encore” tour, she found herself in a very dark frame of mind. It was like her life changed overnight. During that time that the suppressed memories of her childhood trauma (which stemmed from being molested by a family member as a child) reemerged. She felt paralyzed. 

In an interview with TODAY in 2017, Naomi said that there was one point in her life when she didn’t get out of her couch for two years. In fact, whenever her husband, Larry Strickland, her girlfriends, and her daughter Ashley would come over, she would just go upstairs and lock her bedroom door. 

Then it got worse to a point that she even contemplated suicide. It was so hard to describe for her, and it was like just a deep, dark hole that you don’t think there’s another minute. And it took a while for her to admit that she required professional help. By that time, she was already dangerously depressed. 

Thankfully, her husband and Ashley were there for her. They called 911 to get her the help she needed, and she finally entered therapy. 

Emerging with Hope: The Road to ‘Radical Acceptance’

Therapy wasn’t an overnight fix, and Naomi had to undergo several treatments to figure out which one would work with her as she had severe treatment resistance. It was painful, and there were times she thought she wouldn’t make it, but she fought through. And through time, she got better. 

Everyday, she exercised. She would walk up to her daughter Ashley’s house and then holler at her from her front step. If Ashley were home, she would come out and give her mom a hug. Her relationship with her vocal duo and daughter Wynonna also improved. Naomi knew that Wynonna bore the brunt of all of her mistakes, and they talked about it. The two have also been through a lot of therapy together. 

And one thing she learned about her experience was that, first, depression is a disease, and it has nothing to do with character. It’s a chemical imbalance as people like her don’t make enough of the good neurochemicals in the brain. Second, it’s about facing your challenges head-on and not pretending they don’t exist. If you keep squelching it down and suppressing it, it will start bursting out sideways unexpectedly.

In her book, Naomi shared an inspiring message. “I have told my story. Now you know, and you can tell yours. You’re not alone. I am still here.”

Latest Stories

Alan Jackson Sings a Heartfelt Cover of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

Alan Jackson Sings a Heartfelt Cover of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

Debuting his gospel album on February 28, 2006, Alan Jackson made his own rendition of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen H. Lemmel. The song was featured as the ...

Tori Kelly Reminds Us That We Are “Never Alone” With Jesus

Tori Kelly Reminds Us That We Are “Never Alone” With Jesus

In 2018, American singer Tori Kelly released a gospel song titled “Never Alone” as part of her album Hiding Place.  The song instantly became one of Tori Kelly’s greatest hits, ...

FloydFest 2024: What You Need To Know

FloydFest 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:FloydFest Horizon 2024Festival Duration:July 24-28, 2024 2024Venue:5826 Floyd Highway FestivalPark in North Check, VirginiaPerformers Include:Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Black Pumas, Charley Crockett, Sierra Ferrell, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets ...

FairWell Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

FairWell Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:FairWell Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 19-21, 2024Venue:Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Central Oregon, OregonPerformers Include:Kacey Musgraves, Caamp, Billy Strings, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Deschutes County Fairgrounds is gearing up ...

Post Malone and Blake Shelton's “Pour Me A Drink,” the Collab of the Century

Post Malone and Blake Shelton’s “Pour Me A Drink,” the Collab of the Century

In 2024, American rapper Post Malone released the country bop “Pour Me A Drink,” featuring country superstar Blake Shelton – and let’s say, it was far beyond what people expected. ...

Country Singer Mark Chesnutt In Recovery After Emergency Heart Surgery 

Country singer Mark Chesnutt from Beaumont, Texas, shared a health update on his Instagram account following an emergency heart surgery earlier in June 2024. In his post, he wrote, “Well ...

Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose Trade Abuse Allegations in Divorce Battle

Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose Trade Abuse Allegations in Divorce Battle

Billy Ray Cyrus claims estranged wife, Firerose, has verbally, emotionally, and physically abused him during their seven-month marriage. The claims came about after Firerose filed a response to Cyrus’ divorce ...

Sonny James' Timeless Cover of the Classic Hit “Young Love”

Sonny James’ Timeless Cover of the Classic Hit “Young Love”

In 1957, legendary country singer Sonny James released one of the timeless covers of the classic hit song “Young Love.” The song was originally released by Ric Cartey and Jiva-Tones ...

Best Country Fiddler Doug Kershaw’s Performance of “Diggy Diggy Lo”

In 1969, Doug Kershaw released his solo version of the hit song “Diggy Diggy Lo,” which surprised fans. The song was originally released by Doug and his brother Rusty in ...

Rock the South 2024: What You Need To Know

Rock the South 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Rock the South 2024Festival Duration:July 18-20, 2024Venue:York Farms in Cullman, AlabamaPerformers Include:Eric Church, HARDY, Jelly Roll, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here The biggest party in the South, Rock ...