Donny Osmond Opens Up On How Wife Of 44 Years Helped Him Fight His Battles

Jordan Claes
Donnie and Debbie Osmond
instagram | @donnieosmond

Mental health issues aren't to be taken lightly. Now more than any other time in recorded history, society is finally willing to have an honest conversation about issues of depression and anxiety.

This is something that multi-faceted entertainer, Donny Osmond, knows all about. According to Donny, were it not for the loving support and understanding of his wife Debbie, he wouldn't be where he is today.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if there's one thing people empathize with — it's issues surrounding mental health.

personsitting on floor
Unsplash | Fernando @cferdophotography

Since news of the coronavirus first began to spread, there has been a marked uptick in people experiencing mental health-related issues. The most prevalent is depression and anxiety disorders.

What makes depression and anxiety unique is that they don't discriminate.

woman crying with drawn-on smiley face
Unsplash | Sydney Sims

Anxiety doesn't care whether you're rich or poor, young or old, famous or just your average Joe. Absolutely everyone and anyone can fall victim to these emotionally crippling ailments.

This unfortunate fact is something that former teen-dream Donny Osmond understands all too well.

Donny and the rest of The Osmond Brothers made their musical debut on The Andy Williams Show when he was just 5-years-old. By the age of 13, Donny had already been approached to start recording his own music.

Thanks to songs like "Puppy Love" and "Go Away Little Girl", Donny became an overnight star.

Young Donnie Osmond on the phone
instagram | @donnieosmond

From that time onward, Donn's face started popping up on the cover of magazines all over the world. He was a certified sex symbol and held the adoration of young girls everywhere he went.

Despite the neverending attention everywhere he went, Donny still felt empty inside.

Tobias Funke crying in the shower
Giphy | HULU

Donny recalled to People that after one show in Hawaii, he returned to his hotel room, curled up in a ball on the floor, and began bawling and sobbing uncontrollably.

"My brother Jay walked in and said, 'Donny, what's wrong?' I said, 'I'm lonely,'" Donny reflected.

The Osmond Brothers in plaid
instagram | @donnyosmond

"He said, 'You just had thousands of girls screaming your name. Why are you lonely?' I said, 'I don't know. I just need someone.'"

That "someone" turned out to be his future wife, Debra Glenn.

Donnie and Debbie Osmond
instagram | @donnyosmond

Donny first met Debbie when he was just 16-years-old. Right away, Donny knew that there was something special about Debbie but was also self-aware to know that once their relationship was made public — his career would be in effect be "over."

When the news of their engagement broke, Donny's career began to tumble like a stack of dominos.

Donny and Debbie Osmond
instagram | @donnyosmond

Gone were the hordes of screaming fans, along with the bulk of the Osmonds' fortune — lost to bad investments. The walls were closing in around him and Donny began to feel as if he couldn't keep his head above water.

Years later, Donny found a stroke of luck after being cast in a production of "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

But when the time came to perform, Donny was paralyzed by fear of failure and overwhelming anxiety. He was prepared to walk away when his wife Debbie stepped in and gave him a piece of advice that saved his career.

"Debbie said, 'Why don't you go out there tonight and do an average show?'" Donny recalled.

throwback donny and debbie osmond pic
instagram | @donnyosmond

Ironically enough, Donny said that it wound up being the best performance of his career — all because he had allowed himself the freedom to make a mistake and not hold himself to impossible standards of perfection.

The stage production reinvigorated Donny's career and thus made it possible for him to appear on 'Dancing With The Stars' as well as 'The Masked Singer'.

Donny Osmond as The Peacock
instagram | @donnyosmond

These days, Donny speaks honestly and openly about mental health issues and is determined to help others who struggle. "So many people fall into a trap of desperation and depression," Donny explained. "I've been there, and you can't just brush it off."