Lifestyle Health 'RHONJ' Alum Jacqueline Laurita's Daughter Ashlee Malleo Reveals Bipolar Diagnosis: 'Not Ashamed' "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," Ashlee Malleo said of her bipolar diagnosis By Charmaine Patterson Charmaine Patterson Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 27, 2022 09:26 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: Ashlee Malleo/instagram Ashlee Malleo is opening up about living with bipolar disorder. The daughter of Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Jacqueline Laurita detailed her diagnosis in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, telling fans that she plans to "speak more on this" in the future. "You may not think that I have had many difficulties in my life — but I have," Malleo, 31, wrote. "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." She added that she also went on a social media hiatus. Cameron Mathison Says He Is Working with Health Coach After Undergoing Surgery to Treat His Cancer "During this process of seeking help, I was diagnosed with bipolar II," Malleo shared, stating that she immediately began taking medication "as I truly feel that I had tried everything else up to that point." She said she was initially "in denial" about her diagnosis but also didn't have enough information about the condition. Pearl Jam Gives Fan with Terminal ALS a Side-Stage Seat to Rescheduled Berlin Concert "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," wrote Malleo. "It was actually a relief to finally have an explanation for certain things." Now, Malleo said the diagnosis has given her the power to "take back control." RELATED VIDEO: Kristen Bell Shares How Therapy Helps with Anxiety & Depression: 'You Are Not Alone' "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 wrote. Calling bipolar disorder "the gift of extraordinary emotions," Malleo said, "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. 😜." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. She added that she's "hopeful" about her future and "where I'll be a year from now." "Life is a journey full of ebbs and flows. Keep going. Be proud of yourself," she told her followers, ending with a note on the importance of being open about "living with bipolar (and other mental illnessess) so that we can help break down the negative stigmas surrounding mental illness entirely. 🧠🧿✌🏼." Malleo's mother Laurita, 52, was a cast member of Bravo's RHONJ from seasons 1-7. The reality star is also mom to sons CJ, 20, and Nicholas, 13, with husband Chris Laurita. If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.