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Former NFL Star Johnny Manziel Reveals Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis, Reflects on His ‘Huge Downfall’

Johnny Manziel revealed in a new interview that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago.

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“I am taking medication for bipolar, and I am working to try to make sure I don’t fall back into any type of depression because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me,” the former Cleveland Browns quarterback, 25, told T.J. Holmes on Good Morning America on Monday, February 12.

Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic

“At the end of the day, I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours. I can’t help my mental makeup or the way that I was created,” Manziel continued. “I am coming back from a huge downfall. I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on the football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life.”

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The Browns drafted the athlete in the first round of the NFL draft in 2014. He played two seasons before being released in early 2016 due to several off-field controversies, including a 2015 rehab stint and domestic dispute with his then-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley.

“I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression,” Manziel recalled. “When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid … sense of euphoria that is over you, is all gone. … Where did that get me except out of the NFL?”

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Since getting sober, the Texas A&M alum — who was the first-ever freshman to win a Heisman Trophy — has launched his own apparel line and found love with model Bre Tiesi, to whom he became engaged in March 2017. He has also been training again in the hope of returning to the field. He told GMA, “The goal of this comeback is to get back to the NFL, ultimately.”

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