The Jersey Shore Family Vacation star told Us Weekly on Tuesday that he sought help at HeadWaters holistic treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida, to deal with alcohol abuse and depression. He said he left the facility last week after about a month.
“I decided to go to treatment because I was just making the wrong decisions and I was very depressed,” he told the magazine, adding that he wanted to “be a better person, a better father for my [10-month-old] daughter.”
“Eventually, all the bad decisions I was making were going to lead me to places that I didn’t want to be. I wanted to be led to the place that I am now – that’s happy, healthy and the best role model for my daughter," he said.
Ortiz-Magro and on-again, off-again girlfriend Jen Harley welcomed daughter Ariana in April 2018.
“When I was depressed, I would just turn to drinking, and when I would drink, bad things would just continue to happen because I wasn’t reacting the way I should,” he said. “I was very depressed. Very angry. Resentful to myself about a lot of things I’ve done over the last year, or even years. I’m proud of stuff, but I’m not proud of a lot of stuff. I was definitely in a place where I just didn’t know how to control my life anymore.”
The 33-year-old said that he's in a "happy, healthy" place — but knows he faces an uphill battle.
“I think it’s a chronic disease, it’s a progressive disease,” he said. “I’m still struggling. I’m going to struggle for the rest of my life. It’s a monkey that’s on your back and it’s never going to get off.”
He also detailed how his struggle with alcohol led to a vicious cycle of abuse and depression.
“It’s definitely something that’s progressed because I would drink and then I wouldn’t drink,” he said. “I would work out, get healthy when we were filming or traveling, and then all of a sudden, you start up again and it’s worse than when you stopped. And then you stop and then you start up again and it’s worse than when you stopped. You’re like, ‘Wow, I thought I had this under control.’ But at the end of the day, it has full control over you.”
On the season 1 finale of Jersey Shore Family Vacation last year, Ortiz-Magro's roommates sat down for their last dinner in Miami when Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino revealed that Ortiz-Magro had been considering rehab.0comments
The scene did not go over well, with Ortiz-Magro alleging that "My rehab is different from your rehab" and taking a cheap jab at Sorrentino's impending prison sentence for tax fraud, which he has since started. Both men later apologized to each other.
“You went low, and I went lower and I’m sorry for that,” Ortiz-Magro said. “That’s something I need to work on and it’s with you, with my friends, with the woman that I’m with. When someone goes low, I need to stop going lower because it doesn’t resolve nothing.”