Disturbing revelations about Naomi Judd’s medical care before she died.

The internet is filled with condolences since Naomi Judd took her own life just hours before she was supposed to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with her two daughters Wynonna and Ashely Judd.

Ashley, Naomi, and Wynonna Judd

Naomi Judd’s death was ruled a suicide after a long fight with severe depression.

Since then her death has been used by many to raise awareness to the devastating effects that mental illness can have on a person’s life and family.

Jennifer Swantkowski, a psychotherapist from Texas that is on the medical board for the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition that advocates for greater understanding of the potentially devastating effects of commonly prescribed benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin, as well as prevention of patient injury through medical recognition, informed consent, and education posted that Naomi “Judd was placed on 7 SSRI, 3 trials of AP, lithium, Wellbutrin, Parnate, and 4 Benzos along with ECT and one phenobarbital taper and one rapid taper was between 2012-2013/14”.  She said that it was unclear at the time of Naomi Judd’s death what medications she was still taking if any.

SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are typically used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and other psychological conditions. The post caught some attention from people that hope to raise awareness to the negative side effects of psychotropic medications.

In 2018, Naomi Judd wrote a letter to People magazine that was published. She told People magazine:

“Stopped only by the thought of a family member finding her body, the singer slowly found effective ways to heal: new medications, new therapies, stronger relationships with friends and family, including daughters Ashley and Wynonna, alternative treatments like massage and acupuncture.

“I’m still recovering myself,” said Judd. “I’m still trying desperately trying 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. But I’m vulnerable. I know I can backslide,” she added.

Naomi Judd’s memoir River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope | CREDIT: COURTESY HACHETTE BOOK GROUP

Naomi Judd’s suicide is devastating for the family, but Ashley and Wynonna let everyone know what happened to their mother and how she died. Naomi Judd herself talked about her battle with depression and even wrote a book about it.

The CDC says that in 2020, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34, and that suicide is connected with people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence. Naomi Judd said that she was tormented throughout her life by memories of being abused as a child.

Someone commits suicide every 11 minutes according to the CDC, and the number of people that think about it is much higher. The CDC estimates that in 2020, 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.

Family connection and community support decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Suicide can be prevented if everyone plays a role to save lives and create healthy and strong individuals, families, and communities.

CDC strategies to prevent suicide.

Need help? Know someone who does?

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

For more information, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon.

You can also connect 24/7 to a crisis counselor by texting the Crisis Text Line.external icon Text HOME to 741741.

Other resources for life’s circumstances may be found on our resource page.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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