Ashlee Malleo is being open and honest with her recent mental health diagnosis in the hopes of removing the stigma associated with it. The daughter of former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” Jacqueline Laurita recently announced on her Instagram page that she was diagnosed with bipolar II after having a psychotic break.
Shedding Some Light on Mental Health Awareness
After taking a break from social media, Malleo returned with a message about her journey and diagnosis. She captioned her photo with, “You may not think that I have had many difficulties in life – but I have. These last two years have been especially difficult for me. About almost a month ago, I had a psychotic break. I found myself in a position where I was afraid of myself and my own thoughts. And I chose to finally seek proper help.” It was during her break from social media that the 31-year-old was diagnosed with bipolar II.
Her Moving Instagram Message
She further explained her journey saying, “I made the personal choice to begin medication right away, as I truly feel that I had tried everything else up to that point. I think I have been in denial for a very long time about this diagnosis.” She went on to explain that she was never properly educated about bipolar and the negative stigma around mental health diagnoses didn’t help. “I was so used to hearing bipolar being used as a negative adjective to describe someone. I always thought it was just something related to mood swings. It is SO much more, and a lot of things in my life started to make sense.”
Feeling the Relief of Knowing
Having a diagnosis has helped Malleo feel she can take back control of her life and understand certain things a bit better. “I am not ashamed of my diagnosis. And I will not allow anyone to try to make me feel ashamed of it. I will also not allow anyone to use my diagnosis as a scapegoat to treat me poorly.” She went to explain, “It has given me a level of resiliency that I very much needed growing up. It has made me capable of withstanding whatever obstacles the Universe throws at me. I am strong. It has contributed to me being imaginative, empathetic, adaptive — and it’s definitely contributed to my great sense of humor in some way.”
She Has Lots of Support
Malleo received tons of supportive comments for opening up about her truth on Instagram. Her mom is just one of her many supporters, and commented with a string of hugs, hearts, and kissing emojis. Malleo ended her post with some encouraging thoughts. “I think it’s important for us to speak out of our individual experiences living with bipolar (and other mental illnesses) so that we can help break down the negative stigmas surrounding mental illness entirely,” she said.
Co-Parenting Her Son with Her Ex
Malleo shares a son, Cameron, 5, with her ex-husband Pete. The couple got married in August 2018 and announced their split in November 2021. Last year after Malleo alleged that her estranged husband cheated on her on Instagram, she took back her claim stating he didn’t cheat and called him her “partner for life” in raising their son together. “His success is our son’s success. We will always be a family. We will always be there for each other. Nothing and no one could ever break that. Period,” she wrote.