In “River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope,” Judd shares her harrowing personal experience with the severe depression that almost killed her.
Judd first captured the attention of the entire world as half of The Judds, which she formed with her daughter Wynonna. The Judds sold 20 million records, scored fifteen No. 1 hits, and received more than 60 industry awards, including six GRAMMY® awards and seven consecutive CMA Vocal Group of the Year trophies. That ride came to a screeching halt when Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C––and given only three years to live. Instead of accepting her fate, the former registered nurse educated herself and pursued healing. Today, Naomi is Hep C-free––a medically documented miracle.
Written with Marcia Wilkie, “River of Time” picks back up with Judd in 2010. From there, she dives into her three-and-a-half years of nightmares, hospitalizations, psychiatric wards, drug poisoning and addiction, electroconvulsive shock treatments, suicidal thoughts, and more. Raw and unflinchingly candid, the book serves beautifully not as a voyeuristic joyride, but as a generous confession and clarion call for others to fight on and reach out.
“I wrote it with the sincere hope of offering encouragement to the 40 million Americans who suffer from depression and anxiety every minute of every day and night,” Judd said. “I want them to know that I understand, and I’m here to help.”
Throughout, readers of “River of Time” will explore the effects of Judd’s traumatic childhood filled with abuse and generations of mental illness. Judd also opens up about the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments that would ultimately bring her some long-sought relief, the strain that her illness brought her relationships with daughter Wynonna and husband Larry Strickland, the wisdom she received from friends and what others can do when suffering.
Judd’s tale is gripping, and while she offers it with the deft skill of a natural-born storyteller, what matters most is her message. “River of Time” is more than just a compelling read. For many, it could be a life-saving one.