International male model Krit McClean is telling his side of the story of why he caused chaos in New York City’s Times Square two months back with no clothes on.
On 30 June, the model stripped naked out on the streets and then had a hour-long fight with the police on top of the TKTS booth staircase.
He was later arrested and taken to the hospital.
In a new article McClean wrote for the New York Post, he revealed that he was actually suffering from bipolar disorder, and that day at Times Square, he was having a maniac episode.
‘My paranoia heightened on June 29, the night before my Times Square show,’ the model described. ‘I thought I was James Bond. I thought everyone was after me. I ditched my phone because I thought it was a tracking device.’
The incident left McClean with a broken arm, and he had his disorder diagnosed by a mental health professional.
He is currently receiving weekly therapy session.
The model hopes that by sharing his story, he would be able to bring attention and understanding to mental illness.
‘Most reactions have been punitive and don’t come from a place of understanding of mental illness. That is why I am going public — to help others with mental illness who battle constant judgments and stigmas. In sharing my experience, I hope to start a dialogue. I’m now involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness,’ he said.
McClean also added that empathy instead of judgment is what’s needed.
‘We can all relate to being judged and misunderstood. We have all at some point been the “weird” one, whether in the classroom, gym or office. But if we approach each other with empathy, openness and sensitivity instead of judgment, we might just learn from one another,’ the model appealed.
According to McClean’s psychiatrist, Dr. Samoon Ahmad, bipolar disorder is a mental illness defined by ‘depression, mania or both — with the severest form of mania marked by racing thoughts, sleeplessness, irritability, euphoria or overindulgence.’
People in a manic episode might also become delusional, hallucinate, feel paranoid or perceive messages incorrectly, said the doctor.
He shared that the disorder is most common in people in their 20s and 30s, and has the highest suicide rate of all psychiatric conditions.
You can read McClean’s full recount of what happened here.