The third episode of WWE reality series Total Bellas focused on Daniel Bryan's struggle to adapt to life after wrestling following his forced early retirement due to head injuries – and while Bryan has been open about how painful it is to not be able to wrestle, his wife Brie Bella revealed that he has been dealing with depression for the last decade.
“Really our whole relationship I’ve been used to his depression,” Brie Bella said, “but definitely in the last two years I know ‘OK, it comes, it hits hard, but it only lasts for two days.”
Total Bellas was filmed in the period after Bryan announced his retirement from wrestling, but before he returned to WWE to work as the general manager of SmackDown Live. At the time, it seemed like he was opposed to getting back into the business so quickly, aware that being connected to wrestling would be difficult considering he couldn't get in the ring and wrestle himself. (In an interview with Fox Sports in August, Bryan said that he originally planned to spend the summer in the state of Washington taking a horticulture design class course before WWE called to offer him a job.)
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Bryan said a few weeks ago that he was slightly nervous about Total Bellas airing, as it was shot during his darkest period – and certain scenes from the show can be crushingly sad to watch with the knowledge of what will happen a few months later.
“Brie Bella: I know you, I think it will break your heart more because you want to be in the ring, and for you to be outside of the ring and around it will be hard.
Bryan: If I stay in wrestling, what goal am I working towards?”