Jason Russell, 33, was arrested and hospitalized last week after witnesses videotapped him ranting naked on a San Diego street corner. His wife Danica Russell explained to the Associated Press that his very public antics were not related to drugs or alcohol.
Instead, Danica explained that Jason suffered from a case of “brief reactive psychosis,” a condition in which a person exhibits sudden psychotic behavior. Symptoms include hallucinations, strange speech and behavior and delusions, according to reports.
The condition was reportedly brought on after critics scrutinized Invisible Children, the organization Jason founded to fight war crimes in Africa, and questioned the validity of some of the claims in Kony 2012, the 30-minute film that urged viewers to organize a popular movement against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
The film has been viewed 84 million times with celebrities such as Rihanna, Ben Affleck and Justin Beiber all showing their support.
Danica said in a statement:
“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.”
And added in a Hollywood Reporter story:
“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.”
Danica said that it may take months before her husband is able to resume his organizing duties at Invisible Children.
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Brett Johnson is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based writer and the founder of the music and culture blog VeryArtistical.com.