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A.J. Mendez Brooks

Former WWE Wrestler A.J. Lee Reveals Her Struggles With Mental Illness



April Mendez Brooks was known to WWE fans as a “crazy chick” but behind the scripted gimmick, the former Divas champion was still coming to terms with the fact that she was dealing with bipolar disorder. From 2007 to 2015 her character “A.J. Lee” was a fixture on WWE television as she became one of the top stars in the now renamed “women’s division” of the sports entertainment company.

In a post on her official website April Mendez Brooks shares about her mental illness writing:

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was barely out of my teens. Like our olive skin tone and caterpillar eyebrows, I guess it just runs in the family.

By definition, it is a mental disorder characterized by alternating periods of mania and depression. In less scientific terms, it is a real asshole. The disorder strips a person of control. Those affected experience unexpected and unwarranted highs that can increase adrenaline, paranoia, and recklessness, and lows that induce panic attacks, relentless sobbing, and overwhelming lethargy. A person’s heart, mind, and actions either become amplified to a dangerous degree or unrecognizably distorted.

Before you get too sad know that A.J. has found a way to overcome her struggles and achieve her dreams. She writes:

When I harnessed its seemingly uncontrollable might, I realized Bipolar disorder’s powers could be used for good. My diagnosis didn’t have to be an affliction. It could simply be the gift of extraordinary emotions. When a loved one hurt, I could feel their pain with every inch of my skin through my super human ability of empathy. When I witnessed injustice, my anger was transformed into righteous indignation, and nothing could stop me from raising my voice. My passion-fueled soul convinced me to jump into life headfirst, without overthinking. When I was scared, my super-sized heart reminded me I could be invincible. When I doubted myself, my overachieving mind made me believe I was capable of flying. And when I desired something, there was not a person on earth who could hold me back. I could walk through fire if it meant making my dreams come true.

April Mendez Brooks will be releasing her debut book “Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules ” on April 4. You can pre-order on Amazon here