Kanye West is a well-known name in the hip hop industry since 2007. He gained an iconic position in the industry and is perceived to have a modern-day musical brilliance. Kanye’s peculiar behavior and comments were viewed as a part of his unique style and it never hinted anything other than his flamboyant personality.
However, it was the year 2016 when West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Ever since that, he has been quite vocal about this issue and has stated in multiple interviews that he doesn’t consider his bipolar disorder as a disability, but rather a superpower. In an interview with David Letterman in 2018 on the sets of My Guests Needs No Introduction, West explained how it feels surfing through the highs and lows of a bipolar disorder.
He said, that during his manic episodes, he feels a heightening connection with the universe. He also said that mental health disorders are similar to having any other disease hinting that mental health issues are never viewed as serious problems. Further, he also added that unlike other illnesses, people suffering from brain diseases are pushed to the extremities by those around them. He was targeting the stigma around mental health and how lightly people perceive it to be.
Kanye And Mental Health
Even though the rapper/designer has always been vocal about his mental health, his odd behaviors on social media are often viewed as one of those celebrity things that celebs do to gain extra publicity and headlines. However, in a recent incident where he submitted his candidacy for the presidency, it is not viewed as normal behavior by various psychiatrists. This is viewed following the incident where he came to terms with his bipolar disorder back in 2016.
In July 2020, he also did a presidential campaign where he spoke about abortion and how his wife, Kim Kardashian West, was in favor of aborting their baby. Before he erupted into tears, Kanye also said that his wife and her mother tried to lock him up. Now this erratic behavior has raised concerns among his fans and there has been quite a lot of speculation on why he said what he did. However, the primary focus remains on his mental health.
He also made a series of tweets that were later removed from his Twitter handle. This clearly revealed his struggle with mental illness and how badly it has affected his emotional wellbeing. Increasing concern by media and the public regarding Kanye’s mental health has unveiled the three most basic problems with such disorders. The stigmatization of mental illness, lack of knowledge on how to support someone who’s suffering from this, and the uncertainty to relate to those who are suffering have come into the spotlight.
Mental Health And Associated Problems
Psychological disorders are never easy to deal with and only the patient and their family know how physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially draining this whole cycle is. The primary problem has always been the stigmatization of these illnesses. While a lot has improved since the past few years, there are still a large number of people who are unaware of mental disorders.
This void is the root cause of people judging those who are suffering from a mental illness. The alienation of patients and less education about this issue has stopped the sufferers from stepping forward and seeking proper treatment. Often, when a family member informs someone of their mental issue, people are clueless about the next step to follow. This reflects the lack of knowledge about this very concerning issue that is pacing rapidly around the globe.
Kanye West And His Battle With Mental Health
It is never easy for someone so popular and so successful to publicly accept a mental health condition and openly talk about it. Kanye’s mental health care under the observance of the public and the media after he launched his candidacy for president and did a series of bizarre tweets which he later deleted.
Kim Kardashian West opened up about the issue and exclaimed how his bipolar disorder has affected him and their family. She posted a series of Instagram stories where she wrote that those who have experienced similar conditions in their family knows how difficult it is to understand. Further, she added that she has never talked openly about it because she is “very protective of their children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health.”
Kim also thrashed those who were criticizing Kanye and said that people with no experience of mental illness in their friends or family could judge as much as they like, but eventually, it is difficult to move forward in the process of seeking help without the consent and will of the patient. She wrote that Kanye will always be criticized, but their family needs compassion and empathy in these trying times.
In terms of treatment, Kanye has also accepted that intaking medications are not really the approach he follows. Though he did not deny the importance of medications for other people, he did say that he doesn’t take it. Kim confirmed the same and said that he doesn’t like taking it. It changes the way he is. She further added that Kanye is a brilliant but complicated individual who shoulders a lot of weight in terms of being an artist, a black man, and to top all of that, the pressure and isolation that comes with his bipolar disorder.
Kim said that they are expecting more manic episodes in the future, but they have buckled up to tackle every single one of them. Also, she said that having a mental illness will not stop the talent and creativity Kanye carries in his brilliant mind. She said that no disorder can “diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some.”
The model/actress also put out a humble request to stop stigmatizing mental illness and support those who are suffering.
If there is one thing that Kanye West and his battle with mental illness have taught us, it is that the fight against brain disorders demands a proper approach and a will to accept it. Also, people should start getting over the stigma around mental illness and treat it as the severe health condition that it is.
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