Ashley Judd on Depression

Actress talks about why she ditched Hollywood and why she decided to come back.
4:37 | 03/20/12

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Transcript for Ashley Judd on Depression
-- Ashley Judd has long been one of America's sweethearts. In fact she was once one of the highest paid women in Hollywood. Now after stints in rehab and -- Harvard she's landed a brand new TV series called missing. The road hasn't always been easy as she tells ABC's Dan Harris in tonight's Nightline interview. After watching Ashley Judd -- And shooting. Bad guys in the new ABC show missing this was a position in which I did not hope to find myself about to get punched by her. But I just miss you -- you turn. Without himself to Paris. -- actually defeated. -- -- Missing is about an ex CIA agent a mom whose son has been kidnapped. -- and not CIA I am a mother looking for her -- First told you do all that yourself I actually can Wear the T shirt that says I do my own son this. So you think you've learned enough about fighting now that you could -- somebody if real -- I absolutely know that I could really absolutely. So do not massive actually did you -- hear her. Answer and -- I'd be asking yourself that you -- good tastes Dylan's the capitals of Europe on this -- shelf where has this woman in lately. Turns out for the past six years she's been spending her time alternately doing charity work in refugee camps. And getting an advanced degree at Harvard. We all know actually get -- 13 of this -- -- jet fan. Her mom Naomi and older half sister Winona McCain country icon -- it's like give a little. Well actually starred in blockbusters like kiss the girls. And double jeopardy. But quite abruptly actually basically gave it all out. And went on -- deeply personal inner journey facing -- series -- In the early part of the last decade you're one of the highest paid. Actresses. It just wasn't doing it for you why not. Well simply put I wasn't recovery yet. The shift happening in 2006. When she went to visit her sister Winona at a place called shades of hope -- well known it would be treated for an eating disorder. It was there that actually got a surprise. And the people at the center sent -- you. It's -- -- Asian kicked him yes. And you didn't say forget about it I'm -- -- You know what I said was I'm so tired of holding in all this pain -- says she was suffering from severe and undiagnosed depression. The result of a turbulent childhood during which she was sexually abuse she says. And also experienced long periods of abject loneliness. As her mom and sister were launching their music career how -- that affected if at all your relationship with your mom -- your sister. I absolutely know that my parents. Love and adore me. I'm so grateful that today we have good relationships it was after 42 days and that rehab center. That judge made her enormous life change a centrally retiring from acting. And throwing herself into working with aids -- and victims of sexual violence a mission that has in her words. Given mean here coming tears again. The wonderful opportunity to share my recovery with them and that's what makes life worthwhile you know it's the dark past becomes this incredible asset. By 22 UPD. She says it was a desire to be creative again that provoked her to sign -- -- -- new TV show. Although as part of her recovery she insisted that her two dogs and five -- -- -- set. In fact one of those dogs showed was with us during the interview she is a registered psychological support -- And here's how she trained for all those fight scenes yoga. Apparently yoga is not a bad way to prepare to fight she showed me some basic moves in a hotel -- -- -- -- And then pretty much left me in the death. He mediated settlements from -- plans. Hollywood heroin -- fierce and as funny as ever for Nightline is Dan Harris in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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