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Jason Russell Suffers Psychotic Breakdown Caused by Media Attention
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Jason Russell, an activist and the maker of the Invisible Children film that went viral, “Kony 2012,” has suffered a “brief reactive psychotic episode,” reports his family. The symptoms included Russell running naked through the streets of a Pacific Beach Neighborhood, interrupting traffic, and ranting incoherently as he struck the sidewalk with his fists. When police arrived, his underwear was back on and they subdued him. His family is concerned that the incident will detract from Russell’s lifework of raising consciousness about African militia leader Joseph Kony.

A statement from the family reads, “We would, again, like to make it clear that Jason’s incident was in no way the result of drugs or alcohol in his body. The preliminary diagnosis he received is called brief reactive psychosis, an acute state brought on by extreme exhaustion, stress and dehydration.

“Though new to us, the doctors say this is a common experience given the great mental, emotional, and physical shock his body has gone through in these last two weeks. Even for us, it’s hard to understand the sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention – both raves and ridicules, in a matter of days.”

  
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His family was referring to his video going viral. The video, which was intended for a smaller audience than it received, has been viewed by millions.

“Jason has dedicated his adult life to this cause, leading to,” the Kony 2012 video. “We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it.”

The family thinks Jason was unprepared for the onslaught of global attention and criticism he received:

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“Because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal and Jason took them very hard,” the family statement said.

The statement urged that “On Jason’s behalf, keep your attention turned to the end of Africa’s longest-running conflict, and setting a precedent for all future injustice. With love and overflow of gratitude for your prayers, we thank you.”





 

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