After having endured a "dysfunctional" and "chaotic" childhood, actress Ashley Judd underwent a 47-day program at a Texas treatment center last February in order to confront issues of her past -- including depression, isolation and co-dependent relationships.
"I needed help. I was in so much pain," Judd told Glamour magazine, adding that she slept to combat depression and exhibited a compulsion to clean.
In recounting her childhood, the 38-year old described herself as a hyper-vigilant child who often demonstrated perfect behavior in order to compensate for her underlying insecurity. Judd attended 13 schools in 12 years and shifted from living with her mother, father and grandparents.
"Supposedly, my sister was the 'messed-up' one, and I was the 'perfect' one," Judd said.
Her mother is Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Naomi Judd, and her sister is Wynonna Judd, also a Grammy winner. Her father is her mother's high-school sweetheart, Michael Ciminella. Ashley's parents divorced when she was four.
It was during a visit with Wynonna, 42, who was being treated for a food addiction at the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Tex., that counselors noticed Ashley's emotional problems and approached her about seeking treatment as well.
"They said, 'No one ever does an intervention on people like you. You look too good. You're too smart and together. But you (and Wynonna) come from the same family, so you come from the same wound.' No one had validated my pain before," Ashley recounted.
She denied reports that she was under treatment for an eating disorder, but did admit she reexamined her diet. With everything under a microscope, she said, it would have been foolish not to reassess. As for her compulsive habit of wiping down plastic surfaces in airplanes and hotels?
"Now I try to remind myself that if I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself," Judd said.
She also credits Shades of Hope for helping her marriage to Dario Franchitti, 33, a race-car driver and her husband of four years.
"I was unhappy, and now I'm happy. Now, even when I'm having a rough day, it's better than my best day before treatment," she said. "One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt. That is, 'No one can me you feel inferior without your consent.'"
You reading this, Lindsay?