Naomi Judd Openly Discussed Her Depression, Suicidal Thoughts in Years Before Her Death

Naomi Judd was open about her battles with depression and suicidal thoughts before her death. On Saturday, just hours before she and her daughter Wynonna Judd will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, Judd's daughters announced her death. At her family's request, the Country Hall of Fame plans to continue Sunday's induction of The Judds. Judd was 76.

"Today, we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," Wynonna and her sister, actress Ashley Judd, said in a statement. "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."

Although her family has not offered further details to the public, Judd spoke about her battles with depression in the past, notes the Page Six. In 2016, she told Good Morning America she experienced "extreme" and "severe depression" that left her unable to leave the house. Her condition worsened after she and Wynonna stopped touring together in 2011.

"[Fans] see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am," Judd told GMA anchor Robin Roberts. "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." After a tour, she found herself in a "deep, dark, terrifying hole, and I couldn't get out." She spent "two years on my couch."

After The Judds' Last Encore Tour ended, Judd told PEOPLE long-suppressed memories of childhood trauma, including the sexual abuse by a great uncle, resurfaced. She wouldn't leave her house for weeks and had an elevator installed in her home because her legs became weak. "It's so beyond making sense, but I thought, 'Surely my family will know that I was in so much pain, and I thought they would have wanted me to end that pain [through suicide],'" Judd told PEOPLE. She stopped when she thought about how her family would feel discovering her body. Judd turned to alternative medical treatments and sought to strengthen her relationships with Wynonna and Ashley.

Judd spoke about her struggle while promoting her book Rover of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope. She wanted to raise awareness of mental illness and hoped her fans would understand that it is "not a character flaw, it's a stinking disease."

Wynonna and Ashley have also spoken about their struggles with mental illness. Wynonna told Page Six last year she attempted suicide at 18 and still faces "thoughts all the time about how hard this life is." Ashley wrote about her experiences in her 2012 book All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir.

0comments

On Sunday, the Judds will join the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Her family asked that the induction ceremony continue, Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young said. "We will do so, with heavy hearts and weighted minds. Naomi and daughter Wynonna's music will endure," Young said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.