'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Alum Jacqueline Laurita's Daughter Ashlee Shares Bipolar Diagnosis

Jacqueline Laurita and Ashlee
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ashlee shared that she was recently diagnosed and wanted to share to crush the stigma behind mental illness.

Ashlee Malleo, the daughter of former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jaqueline Laurita, announced that she has recently been diagnosed with bipolar II. Malleo began her post on Monday, saying that she would share more at a later date, but she wanted to be candid with her followers.  
“You may not think that I have had many difficulties in my 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. I took a short break from social media as well. During this process of seeking help, I was diagnosed with bipolar II,” she wrote. 

“I made the personal choice to begin medication right away, as I truly feel that I had tried everything else up to that point," she added. "I think I have been in denial for a very long time about this diagnosis. However, I was also never properly educated about all of the other aspects of having bipolar.” 

She continued, “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. It was actually a relief to finally have an explanation for certain things. It has been empowering for me to learn more about it, and take back control. 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.” 

The make-up artist, who is mother to son Cameron, said that her diagnosis is a “gift” and that it has only made her stronger. 
“I see bipolar disorder as the gift of extraordinary emotions. 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. 😜 This is just yet another chapter of my life. I’m curious and hopeful to see where I’ll be a year from now. Life is a journey full of ebbs and flows. Keep going. Be proud of yourself," she wrote. 

Malleo ended her post by sharing how important it is to speak out, so the stigma surrounding mental illness can be broken.  

The former reality TV star was met with a lot of support in the comments. “Here for anything you need❤️,” Bebe Rexha wrote.  

“You’re amazing for sharing!! Thank you 💗,” Victoria Mastrandrea, the daughter of the Long Island Medium Teresa Caputo, wrote.

Malleo also got the support of her mother, who commented on the post with a series of kissy emojis.  

Malleo and her mother appeared on The Real Housewives of New Jersey for five seasons.