Acquitted teenager Kyle Rittenhouse on Wednesday evening talked to Blaze Media’s Steven Crowder, detailing what he went through while testifying on the stand in his own homicide trial.
The 18-year-old revealed that he suffered a “PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) episode” when he broke down in tears and a recess needed to be called before he could finish his testimony. Host Steven Crowder, who has panic attacks himself, said he could recognize this happen in real time.
“Look- I had an anxiety attack; I had a PTSD episode on the stand,” Rittenhouse said, responding to critics’ claims that his emotion on the stand was “fake.”
“That’s what I said when it happened,” Crowder told the teen. “I’ve had panic attacks.”
Rittenhouse revealed that he had panic attacks for the first time in his life when he went to jail, awaiting trial. Diagnosed with PTSD, the 18-year-old has had more since then — including one on the stand — but has been able to lessen the severity of the attacks by working with his therapist and developing strategies like “tactical breathing.”
Crowder underscored the difference between “social anxiety” and panic attacks, noting that the latter includes “a physiological response.”
The host said that when he watched Rittenhouse break down on the stand, he recognized that he was indeed having a panic attack, noting that he knew critics would “say that he’s faking.”
“It’s very upsetting, because — I don’t care what people say, I’ve long lived past that — but I’m like, it took everything I had to fight back, because I didn’t wanna cry on national TV,” Rittenhouse told Crowder.
During the same interview, Crowder made it a point to tell Rittenhouse, who is just 18, to not feel any obligation to do any or all media requests. “You don’t owe anyone anything,” he told the teen.
The host also told Rittenhouse not to feel any “guilt” about defending himself and emphasized that he doesn’t believe Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been in Kenosha that night, contrary to popular political option.
Notably, Rittenhouse has stressed that he doesn’t believe he should be “celebrated” as a “hero,” since, at the end of the day, two lives were lost. The teen also said that he doesn’t feel guilt because he knows he only did what he had to do to survive.
“I understand what you’re saying, [not] to be celebrated, but what I talked about on air is, you were there trying to do the right thing,” Crowder said. “That’s why I never took a step back, like, yeah, he shouldn’t have been there. No. I understand why you were there, and actually commend you for being there because you were there for a long time cleaning up and helping.”
“You weren’t one of these people … there taking and harming lives like the people who attacked you,” he continued. “They all, and … you didn’t know it at the time, but they all spent a lifetime harming other people.”
WATCH (relevant comments begin around the 40-minute mark):