Jul 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kim Kardashian releases statement on Kanye West's mental health

Kanye and Kim
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Kim Kardashian West on Monday released a statement via her Instagram story regarding the mental health of her husband, Kanye West, who has bipolar disorder.

Why it matters: While it might be easy to write off West's attention-grabbing yet erstwhile presidential bid as a publicity stunt or joke, Kardashian West's statement highlights that his family and friends are genuinely concerned about his well-being.

  • "Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions," Kardashian West wrote.
  • West held a bizarre "campaign rally" in South Carolina over the weekend, but later failed to get the thousands of signatures needed to appear on the state's presidential ballot.
  • The rapper has also fired off provocative tweets about his family in recent days, including an apparent claim that Kardashian West and his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, tried to have him institutionalized.

The big picture: Kardashian West urged the public and media to be kind in discussing her husband's health, stating that "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," she added.
  • But she did defend the core of her husband's presidential ambitions, writing that "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."

Kardashian West's full statement:

"As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar 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 times can cause strong opinions and emotions. He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of a 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 bipolar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.
Living with bipolar 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 big 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."

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

  • The CDC also has a list of free and confidential mental health resources.
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