Depression forces producers and medical staff to remove 'Naked and Afraid' contestant


On Sunday’s Naked and Afraid XL, primitive hunter and survivalist Ryan Eacret was forced to leave the competition. Producers and medical personnel became concerned when Eacret started showing symptoms of severe depression.

Throughout the episode Eacret appeared listless. The other survivalists in the group were worried about the man they had spent 31 days with in the South African bush. After a particularly tough evening, which included Eacret sleepwalking, production decided to intervene.

A producer told Eacret, “With the amount of weight you've lost and the amount of food you're not eating, with the amount of rest you're not getting, with the amount of hydration you're not getting — we're not equipped to handle depression in a situation like this.”

The producer commended Eacret for his toughness but ultimately decided it would be best if he was removed from the competition. He said, “We know you would never quit this on your own, because you're tough as hell, but we think the best thing for you is to pull you from the challenge.”

Support for both production and Eacret poured in from viewers on Twitter.

Despite leaving under somewhat unusual circumstances, Eacret held his chin high. “There is a stigma associated with it, as far as people looking down like, ‘Oh, he's crazy,’” said Eacret. “It's not crazy, you're just born without the chemical production. There's no shame at all in going and getting treatment.”

Naked and Afraid XL airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Discovery.

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Originally published