What led to Kony creator's naked breakdown on a San Diego street corner?
Hitting over 70 million viewers in just its first week the Kony 2012 Youtube video is now considered to be the most viral video in history. Because of this video the African warlord Joseph Kony is now known by the majority, and the hope is that Kony will be found and brought to justice. Having the most viral video in history was no small feat for co-creator Jason Russell, or anybody for that matter. Having the amazing vision to do something extraordinary requires a brilliant mind. I think that most people would agree that Jason Russell was a creative visionary who has already made a footprint on society.
It was a shock for many to hear that Russell experienced some form of breakdown this past week in which he removed his clothing and caused quite a disturbance on a San Diego sidewalk. TMZ obtained footage of Mr. Russell completely naked in broad daylight pounding his fists against the sidewalk. There are even some reports that he was damaging cars, masturbating, and making sexual gestures to passersby, although many of these details are unclear at the moment. Although he was not arrested, he is on a 5150 psychiatric hold and getting treatment for what could be considered a “psychotic break.”
The big question is what leads such a young, brilliant man to what many consider to be a “psychotic break.” Of course there are many reports that Mr. Russell was on some form of substance, although his family claims that these reports are completely untrue. There is no denying that psychedelic drug usage could lead to the behaviors that Russell displayed on that San Diego sidewalk. The use of LSD, for example, can go astray and cause detrimental effects. Even worse than a naked tantrum in the street, there are reported cases of people plucking out their own eyeball while on LSD.
Salvia is another hallucinogenic drug that is widely available and causes a short 15-30 minute trip. It has been reported that many salvia users remove some or all of their clothing while on the trip. After coming out of their trip they sometimes find themselves naked. Many who have taken salvia compare it to being inside of a trippy movie like Butterfly Effect, Coraline, or Alice in Wonderland.
But all drug talk aside, Mr. Russell’s family insists that drugs and substances were not to blame for the young man’s peculiar behaviors. Russell's wife states that he has never had a substance abuse or alcohol problem. The family insists that it was a combination of exhaustion, dehydration, and malnourishment that led to his erratic behaviors on a San Diego street corner.
As the YouTube hit number grew astronomically for the Kony 2012 video, so did the scrutiny of the Invisible Children Organization. Many questioned whether all of the money spent on creating the video took away from funds that could be going towards helping the people. People also wondered if the Kony video wasn’t just a mechanism to gain more money by selling the kits, t-shirts, bracelets, and other goods. The kit itself is $30.00 at kony2012.com. People also questioned whether the founders of the organization didn’t just use it as a way to pay their salaries, employ their relatives, and fund expensive vacations.
Was it in fact stress along with the dehydration/malnourishment that in fact caused his psychological break? Can stress create these symptoms in a young man?
Perhaps the severe stress and overwork caused something called severe delirium in Mr. Russell. Delirium occurs when there is some form of organic dysfunction within the body. If he was in fact severely dehydrated and malnourished as stated by his family, it could have created those symptoms that he displayed in the TMZ video. Some causes of delirium include: severe lack of sleep, lack of food or water, traumatic shock, brain injury and others. So, in fact, his erratic behaviors could possibly be linked to his severe state of stress, dehydration, and overall exhaustion.
If a person is diagnosed as having delirium due to an organic dysfunction, the first step is to optimize the conditions within the body, and specifically the brain. Being that Mr. Russell may have been severely dehydrated; the first step would be to replenish his fluids through an IV. After improving his biological equilibrium, the next step would be to reorient him to time, place, and date. Sometimes antipsychotic drugs are required to stabilize a patient.
His long term care plan would involve plenty of rest and proper nutrition. Psychotherapy would also be a good recommendation for continued care. Mr. Russell, unfortunately, will also probably face a lot of scrutiny, gossip, and judgment from society. Lets’ face it; stories like these are what keep media outlets in business. Media and gossip sites have huge audiences of people that read stories like these. In fact these stories are so popular that they completely overshadow a viral video that now has over 80 million views. When we do a Google search, the stories about his breakdown now completely overshadow the video that now has over 80 million views. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Of Gossip [EXPERT]
Perhaps we can use this story as a lesson to not jump quickly to judgment about other people. There are many underlying medical and psychological problems that could be the explanation for people’s odd behaviors. Plato compared insanity to a divine gift and "the source of chief blessings among men." Don’t be quick to judge another person until you know what underlies their moods and behaviors.