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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.

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2020 - Technology

Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts in #StopHateForProfit effort

Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim Kardashian West announced that she will join two dozen celebrities in temporarily freezing their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday because the platforms "continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation — created by groups to sow division and split America apart."

Why it matters: The announcement from such a high-profile user is likely to be a PR disaster for Instagram and Facebook, as well as a boost to the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Kardashian West is the seventh-most followed account on Instagram with 188 million followers. She currently has 30 million followers on Facebook.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

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