Reading Matters

Naomi Judd: her depression and how she emerged with hope

In her memoir, “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope,” written with Marcia Wilkie, country music singer Naomi Judd writes of a day she went shopping with friends:

“At the first antique store, I wandered around, listening to the other women laugh and talk. I turned the corner, around a tall white armoire, and looked directly into an antique mirror in a gilded frame. The frame was ornate, but the mirror had about a dozen cracks running through it in jagged lines. The reflection of my face in tyhe mirror, divided and distroted nto broken pieces, stopped me cold. My image resembled exactly how I felt inside, jagged pieces, barely held together. I had a sinking feeling that this crazed reflection was symbolic not only of my present, but of my future.”

This memoir is Judd’s messages of hope to anyone whose life has been scarred by depression. It takes the reader through her diagnosis of Severe Treatment Resistant Depression and anxiety, and how she emerged a person who could choose to do things that are pleasant and possible, including eating nutritious meals, getting plenty of physical exercise and lots of sleep.

One thing that helped Judd was therapy. Here’s how she describes it:

“Therapy is more like an archaeological dig. You have to persistently move the surface aside to get at what’s underneath. Most of what you find may be broken, with sharp edges, so often it feels painful or hopeless. But you have to stay with it to excavate and analyze the specifics of what really happened in your past and how that has influenced your mental health today.”

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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