TikTok’s ‘Uncle Chris’ Opens Up About His Mental Health Journey

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Months after his disappearance, TikToker Christopher Rooney, known as “Uncle Chris” to his millions of followers, is opening up about his manic episode in hopes of using his platform to raise awareness about mental health.

Rooney, 26, rose to fame in 2020 with the TikTok account they are babies, which features comedic videos of him with his niece and nephew. Since then, they have amassed a fan base of 5.7 million followers.

But in July, the Richmond, Virginia-based creator made headlines after going missing for nine days, alarming many of his followers. He later entered an inpatient program at a mental health facility. Doctors diagnosed him with bipolar I disorder. This week he publicly addressed what happened In its whole.

“Here’s the story of how I disappeared and ended up in the psych ward for 17 days,” she said in a TikTok video uploaded Tuesday, which has since received more than 5 million views and an avalanche of supportive comments.

Rooney isn’t the first creator to be honest about his mental health struggles, but he hopes going public with his experience will encourage his followers to learn and share more information about bipolar I disorder. He said some fans learned what a manic episode was like. through your journey. .

The experience has also allowed him to be more “himself,” after being known primarily online as the wholesome “Uncle Chris.”

“I still want to move forward with our Yeet Baby page and all that,” Rooney said in an interview with NBC News this week. “But now I see that my posts can help people if their family members or themselves are going through something. So I definitely want to continue on this path and raise awareness and help in any way I can in the world of mental health.”

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by prolonged manic episodes or severe manic symptoms, described as “extremely ‘upbeat’, euphoric, irritable, or energetic behavior,” requiring immediate medical attention. according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Rooney said doctors told him that his manic episode had been induced by trauma he had recently experienced in his personal life. He had been struggling after he and his wife, a creator who is now private on TikTok, suffered two miscarriages and decided to divorce.

mental health tiktok bipolar
Christopher Rooney.@chrisrooney via TikTok

He said he was manic for about 30 days, during which he “went off the rails” at a casino, donated $20,000 to child trafficking organizations after watching the movie “The Sound of Freedom” and destroyed all his belongings. Finally, he went for a drive and threw objects out of his car to try to get the attention of police officers.

“I was basically begging for help. I knew something was wrong,” she said.

During this time, Rooney posted several videos, sparking speculation about her marriage among her followers. She said people made assumptions that others began to believe, which exacerbated her mental state.

“There are multiple perspectives that were completely false about what’s going on in my personal life, and it’s frustrating to see,” he said.

The videos showed a different side of Rooney that fans weren’t expecting. He hadn’t shared much about his personal life in the past.

“I had and have a life outside of (yeetbaby),” she said. “I never really showed it before. That was something very important. They say, ‘Oh my God, casino and drinking.’ I say, ‘I hate to tell you guys.’ I can stay here for free because I’ve done this before.’”

After three years as a creator, he said he mostly doesn’t mind his followers’ comments. He just wanted people to understand that “nobody knows what they’re going through.”

Now, Rooney said he feels like he can share a little more of himself and his personality online. As he posted videos about his experience, symptoms, and recovery, fans left encouraging messages.

“Your heart is always in the right place, Chris. Wishing you the best and happy to see you are doing so well,” wrote one commenter.

“You have no idea how much you are helping people. Mental health is important and YOU are important,” wrote another.

Rooney has since started an intensive outpatient program. She said she has been “gathering (her) things” from her while treating her bipolar I disorder. She is also working on soon launching a podcast with a friend, which will address mental health issues.

And, he assured his followers, he still dates his niece and nephew; It’s just that he’s been mostly offline.

“There are so many options for what I can do in the future and that’s a liberating feeling,” she said. “It’s a little scary, because I have to decide what I want to do. … I feel like I can be more myself.”



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