“Star Wars” actor Jake Lloyd recovering in mental health facility after psychotic break, mother says

“Star Wars” actor Jake Lloyd recovering in mental health facility after psychotic break, mother says
Lloyd played young Anakin Skywalker in 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”

It’s been 25 years since Jake Lloyd played the young Anakin Skywalker in the first Star Wars prequel, 1999’s Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Since then, he’s stepped away from acting and has been dealing with his mental health, his mother explained in a recent interview.

According to Lisa Lloyd, Jake is about 10 months into an 18-month stay at a mental health rehabilitation facility after suffering what she called “a full-blown psychotic break.”

Lloyd says her son was having a bad day when he was driving home from McDonald’s in March 2023. “He said he wanted to turn the car off. And he turned the car off in the middle of the three lanes, and we were in the middle lane,” Lloyd told Scripps News. “There was a lot of yelling and screaming.”
“The police got there, and they asked Jake some questions,” she continued. “He was talking to them, but none of it made sense. It was all word salad.”

Jake was taken to a hospital instead of jail and several months later he was transferred to an inpatient program at a mental health rehab facility.

Lloyd explained that her son’s troubles began in high school when he struggled with defining reality and a doctor suggested he might have bipolar disorder. Jake was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, with the neurological condition anosognosia complicating efforts at treatment.

“When they finally told him, it totally threw him off into an even worse depression,” Lloyd said. “It was really hard.”
Lloyd, however, denies that the negative reaction to The Phantom Menace continued to her son’s mental health issues as she “protected him from the backlash.”

“Everybody makes such a big deal about that,” Lloyd said of the backlash. “And it’s rather annoying to me because Jake was a little kid when that came out, and he didn’t really feel all that stuff because I didn’t let him online.”

She also cited a history of schizophrenia on his father’s side, believing that Jake was going to be schizophrenic regardless. Though some kids did bully him in high school over Star Wars, Lloyd said Jake’s decision to step away from acting had more to do with problems at home, where the family was dealing with a divorce. Jake, for his part, didn’t seem to enjoy auditioning anymore.

After a semester and a half at college, Jake dropped out and moved in with his mother in Indiana. Jake would often go off his medications, which led to further trouble, including a run-in with the law in 2015. On a road trip by himself from Florida to Canada, Jake was arrested when he took police on a multi-county car chase.

Lloyd tried, to no avail, to get in contact with her son, who ended up spending 10 months in jail without access to his medication. She was finally able to get him the care he needed, but he still struggled to keep doctor’s appointments and to take his medication. Jake then suffered another blow when his younger sister Madison unexpectedly died in her sleep of natural causes in 2018.

Today, Jake is “doing much better” than Lloyd expected and he’s beginning to understand more about his condition and the importance of taking his medication. Lloyd also notes that Jake is a big fan of Star Wars, both the movies and TV shows, particularly Ahsoka. For his birthday, Lloyd got him an action figure of lead character Ahsoka Tano.

“People think Jake hates Star Wars,” Lloyd added. “He loves it.”

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