“RHOP” Star Mia Thornton's Ex Gordon Thornton Reveals Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis: 'I Understand My Mental Illness'

"Things got so bad and so low for me that I went to the hospital and checked myself in," Gordon said

<p>Paul Morigi/Getty </p> Gordon Thornton and Mia Thornton in April 2022

Paul Morigi/Getty

Gordon Thornton and Mia Thornton in April 2022

Gordon Thornton made a emotional revelation on the third part of the Real Housewives of Potomac season 8 reunion.

The estranged husband of Potomac Housewife Mia Thornton opened up on the episode, telling host and executive producer Andy Cohen that he's been diagnosed with bipolar I — a mental health condition (also known as manic-depressive disorder) that causes "extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression)," according to the Mayo Clinic.

"Bipolar, in and of itself, causes your mind to really work opposite," Gordon, 71, said on the episode, which aired on Sunday, April 14. "Your mind tricks you into saying ‘You are normal, everyone else is slow.' "

He went on to explain that he was officially diagnosed two and a half years ago, but can trace the disorder back to his early 20s. "I can remember episodes over the course of my life," he said, adding, "My manic got worse over the years as I gained more control, more power, more money."

<p>Shannon Finney/Bravo via Getty Images</p> Gordon Thornton on 'RHOP'

Shannon Finney/Bravo via Getty Images

Gordon Thornton on 'RHOP'

Related: The Real Housewives of Potomac Cast Tries to Repair Divide in Tense Season 8 Reunion Trailer (Exclusive)

While he's taking medication to keep the symptoms under control, Gordon said that "the key to controlling this is not the medication exclusively."

"You have to go the rest of the way yourself," he explained. "So the first thing you got to do is understand the behaviors that are the beginning of going into a manic episode."

"I cannot [see it]. People around me can," Gordon added, noting that prior to separating from Mia, she had pointed out to him that he was in an episode "a few times," but he "didn't listen."

Related: RHOP's Mia Thornton Goes Instagram Official with New Boyfriend Incognito and Hints at 2024 Wedding Date

Mia, 39, and Gordon met at a strip club charity event in 2003, and went on to serve on the same board for a non-profit organization to raise money for Haiti. The two married in March 2012 and share son Jeremiah Carter, 8, and daughter Juliana, 6. Additionally, they each have one child from their previous relationships and multiple grandchildren.

The two separated in June 2023, with PEOPLE breaking the news of their split in September. "My family is my number one priority, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure we are okay,” Mia told PEOPLE. "We ask that you respect our privacy and give us the time and space to figure things out."

Since then, she's rekindled a romance with former flame Incognito, a radio personality who also goes under the name INC. At the RHOP reunion, Gordon said he and Incognito are "cordial."

The estranged couple have not officially divorced yet. "I have signed an affidavit. I can't get a divorce until June of this year at the earliest, and that's because we are up for sale for our businesses and they don't want me to divorce him until that's done," Mia said at the reunion.

Related: RHOP Star Mia Thornton Separates from Husband Gordon Thornton: 'Family Is My No. 1 Priority' (Exclusive)

They are living apart, with Mia living in a penthouse apartment in Washington, D.C. and Gordon in an apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is planning on moving across the street from her, she said.

Viewers saw the couple's relationship fall apart during season 8 of the reunion, the two bickering over financial troubles stemming from a fallout Gordon was having with his siblings in the chiropractic franchise they shared. The season finale also included a tense conversation between Mia and Gordon, in which he confronted her for having an affair during a part of their relationship.

But while discussing his health on Sunday's RHOP season 8 reunion part 3, Gordon took full responsibility for their split.

"Let me just say this: Mia has been absolutely wonderful," Gordon said. "You may say, ‘Why do you say that when this other stuff was happening?’ First off, whatever’s gone on, I forgive her and she’s forgiven me. [But] I fully believe that had a gotten control of this manic behavior sooner, Mia would still be with me. I don’t think she left me because she wanted to be someplace else. She left me because she couldn’t take this anymore."

<p>Heidi Gutman/BRAVO via Getty</p> Mia Thornton and Gordon Thornton

Heidi Gutman/BRAVO via Getty

Mia Thornton and Gordon Thornton

Related: RHOP's Mia Thornton Gives an Update on Her Separation — and the 'Committed' New Man in Her Life

"It is what it is," he added. "I know that things I did pushed her away. I know that. I have no doubt about that."

Gordon went on to praise Mia for how supportive she's been to him amid his health.

"Things got so bad and so low for me that I went to the hospital and checked myself in. The next morning, guess who was there? Mia," Gordon said. "She showed up the next morning, made sure that I had everything I needed. Left and went to get me a change of clothes. My place was seven, eight hours away. She came to see me, I believe every day but one while I was there."

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 celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

And though Mia said she's always going to be there to take care of Gordon insisted he's okay,

"I appreciate you saying that, but I am good now," said Gordon. "I understand my mental illness. I understand how to control it now."

The Real Housewives of Potomac is now streaming on Peacock.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.