In the wake of Kanye West’s behavior in recent days related to his bipolar disorder, his wife Kim Kardashian West posted a long statement Wednesday morning asking for “compassion and empathy” for her husband.
“As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health.”
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She said she is making the statement due to the “stigma and misconceptions” around mental health in general, which is exacerbated in this situation by West’s fame, wealth and high profile on social media platforms.
“We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however, we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most,” she continued. “I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this.” She also thanked people who have expressed concern for West’s health in recent days.
During a hastily organized rally in South Carolina for his stated president campaign on Sunday, West broke down in tears when discussing abortion and made an outlandish statement about 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Since Monday evening, West has fired off dozens of tweets in which he’s accused many people close to him, particularly his family, of disloyalty and attempting to “lock him up,” among multiple other accusations that he has since deleted. Such behavior is not uncommon for people suffering from bipolar disorder who are in the throes of a manic episode. He also announced that he is releasing a new album on Friday.
West has frequently said that he is bipolar and often disdains medication. He was hospitalized for stress and exhaustion and reportedly placed on psychiatric hold after several onstage rants during his “Saint Pablo” tour in late 2016.
Kardashian-West’s statement follows in full:
“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.
“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at time can cause strong opinions and emotions. He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions.
“Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his dreams have come true. We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most. I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this. Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye’s well-being and for your understanding.”
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