Article Dec 18, 2016

You are no longer passing

Naomi Judd's depression struggles left her suicidal

Country star Naomi Judd planned to commit suicide at the height of her ongoing battle with a "life-threatening" bout of severe depression.

The singer took a lengthy break from the spotlight after wrapping her 2010 farewell tour with her daughter Wynonna as The Judds, and she reveals her hiatus was brought on by her crippling battle with anxiety and panic attacks, which often left her unwilling to leave her estate near Nashville, Tennessee.

Naomi has opened up about her personal struggles in her new book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, and in a candid chat on breakfast show Good Morning America, she reveals her persona onstage was a far cry from the mess she would be at home.

And she insists fans had no clue: "They think, because they see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am," she said. "I'm sort of a fantasy 'cause I want to provide that for them.

"But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks and not get outta (sic) my pajamas, not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad."

Naomi, who previously went public with the molestation she suffered as a child, blames her tough upbringing for her troubles, and after enduring a series of stints in psychiatric care, she was diagnosed with severe, "treatment-resistant" depression.

The singer admits she often thought about taking her own life during her darkest days, and even planned how she would jump off a bridge near her home.

She told People magazine, "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."

Naomi, who is also mum to actress Ashley Judd, was only turned off the idea by the thought of a loved one finding her body, so instead, she focused on finding ways to heal her pain.

"I'm still recovering myself," she explained. "I'm still trying desperately to help myself. There's never going to be a pill for it all. I read up on all the scientific literature, I go to courses. I try so hard to stay up on everything that I possibly can to get rid of this horrible curse."

"Those thoughts of suicide don't come anymore," she added. "But I'm vulnerable. I know I can backslide."

And she's asking fans who might be shocked by her appearance to understand it's all due to the medication she's taking: "I know people will realize I don't look like I usually look... (There's) nothing I can do about it. And my face, I feel like a balloon. My face is all swollen because of the medication. I really haven't been eating ice cream and candy!"