Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman and became emotional when speaking about abortion. (July 20)
Kim Kardashian West is speaking out on the importance of caring for those with mental illnesses amid her husband Kanye West’s public struggle with bipolar disorder.
West, 43, sent a barrage of worrisome tweets Monday and Tuesday nights after openly weeping over the weekend at his rambling first presidential campaign rally in South Carolina.
“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions,” Kardashian West wrote in a lengthy Instagram statement Wednesday. “He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures 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 some times do not align with his intentions.”
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star, 39, said she decided to speak out “because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health,” despite the Kardashians usually staying tight-lipped about family issues.
In his Monday tweet storm, West suggested he was at his Wyoming ranch and resisting intervention efforts by his wife Kim Kardashian, her family and medical professionals.
“Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday,” West tweeted Monday, before deleting it. In other now-deleted tweets, he said he had been trying to get a divorce and accused the Kardashian family and his mother-in-law Kris Jenner of trying “to lock me up.”
Reflecting on the “incredibly complicated and painful” nature of living with or loving someone who lives with mental illness, his wife reminded followers that the family of an adult is “powerless” to help unless the person willingly engages “in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
“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 wrote. “That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.”
Kardashian West asked that “the media and public” give the family grace, compassion and empathy” to get through their difficult time and thanked those who reached out and expressed concern.
West elicited worries about his mental health after Sunday’s rally to support his announced presidential campaign in North Charleston, South Carolina. Wearing a flak jacket that read “Security,” West shouted without a microphone, cried and offered deeply personal statements about his wife and family.
During a discussion on abortion, West veered into his private life with Kardashian, explaining that they considered terminating their first pregnancy. He emotionally said that Kardashian ended up fighting to keep the unborn child, and gave birth to daughter North in 2013.
“So even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to,” West told the crowd. “She protected that child.”
West broke down sobbing talking about his own mother, Donda West, who made the same choice when she was pregnant. “My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy.”
“I almost killed my daughter,” he shouted shamefully, not hiding his tears.
West was hospitalized in November 2016 for a “psychiatric emergency” after police were called to his house by his personal doctor. The remaining dates on his Saint Pablo tour were canceled.
He opened up about his mental health struggles and being placed in involuntary psychiatric hold during a 2019 interview with David Letterman. Saying he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years earlier, West explained what it was like to have a manic episode.
“You feel everyone wants to kill you, you pretty much don’t trust anyone, and they have this moment where they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know,” he said.
He also reflected on the importance of taking his medication: “If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital.”
West told Forbes in a 2019 interview that his bipolar disorder was his “superpower” that unlocked his imagination and discussed the stigma of mental illness. “ ‘Crazy’ is a word that’s not gonna be used loosely in the future,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that have been called that ‘C’ word that have ended up on this (magazine’s) cover.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/07/22/kanye-west-wife-kim-kardashian-speaks-out-his-mental-health/5477065002/