Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel revealed in an interview with ABC News Monday that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is taking medication to counteract the effects.
“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," he told ABC News.
The diagnosis came in the summer of 2017 at a facility in California, Manziel said in the report.
Manziel said the party lifestyle, which included drinking, that has followed him since his days at Texas A&M were a way of self-medicating while battling mental health issues that also included depression.
“You are left staring at the ceiling by yourself, and in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself, super depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life," he said in the interview. "What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?"
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder “causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” Those can be both manic, which can make the patient anywhere from elated to irritable, or depressive, which results in feelings of sadness or hopelessness, according to the institute. Medications typically used to treat the disorder are mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics and antidepressant, according to the institute.
That "self-medicating" cycle is what ultimately ended his first chance at the NFL after the Cleveland Browns selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Manziel was cut in March of 2016 after two seasons with the organization.
“For a while I got so ingrained, caring only about what Johnny wanted, only caring what mattered to me, what made me happy," he told ABC News. "When I look back at it now, even when I thought I was doing what I wanted, I was miserable."
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner returned to College Station over the weekend to promote his new “ComebackSZN” clothing line and attend the Aggie men’s basketball game against Kentucky with his fianceé, Bre Tiesi.
He has a contract offer on the table from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, but said he hopes to return to the NFL.
“I am coming back from a huge downfall,” he told ABC News. “I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on a football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life."