Celebrity Kanye West has recently been in the spotlight for what is assumed to be a manic episode after his recently separated wife, Kim Kardashian West, entered a new public relationship with comedian Pete Davidson. Though many find his online behavior to be humorous, Kanye’s behavior is extremely harmful to both his family and the bipolar community.
Kanye West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has admitted to struggling with suicidal thoughts of an addiction as well in 2018, as explained in the New York Post.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by significant and unusual mood swings partnered with depressive and manic episodes.
The depressive episodes are comparable to symptoms of those with major depression—a persistent sadness or emptiness, suicidal thoughts, exhaustion, et cetera. The manic episodes, on the other hand, display symptoms of high energy, being “on edge”, irrational, recklessness or impulsivity, et cetera. Think of mania as the opposite to depression, not in the way of happiness and sadness, but in terms of energy level.
Though a lot of factors went into Kim and Kanye‘s separation, Kanye‘s way of handling—or not handling—his manic episodes, was without a doubt a major one.
According to The Mirror, Kim said in 2020 that her husband at the time refused to take his prescribed medication, despite being urged to buy medical professionals. Without it, he was much more susceptible to episodes. His behavior often goes unchecked and is even supported by his fans.
He's getting a lot of attention recently for his online behavior surrounding his separated wife and her new significant other Pete Davidson.
In a now deleted post, West used the caption “HOLD YOUR SPOUSE CLOSE MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE AND APPRECIATE THEM BECAUSE THERE’S A SKETE [Pete Davidson] LURKING IN EVERY DIRTY [expletive] ALLEY WAITING TO HELP DESTROY YOUR FAMILY AND WALK AROUND IN CALVIN KLEINS AROUND YOUR CHILDREN.”
Buzzfeed also shared an article that outlines multiple screenshots Kanye shared of private texts between himself, Davidson, and Kardashian West, captioning with things like “NO YOU [Davidson] WILL NEVER MEET MY CHILDREN."
His obsessive behavior with these posts is concerning enough and clearly erratic, but in now deleted Instagram posts, he has also called for both verbal and physical attacks against Davidson.
In one post following this, he shares a message from Kardashian West, where she says “You [Kanye] are creating a dangerous and scary environment and someone will hurt Pete and this will all be your fault." This shows that Kim, who obviously knows her ex-husband personally, is taking his behavior seriously and sees it as frightening.
There are so many other posts and quotes I could go through. To get to the point, this is textbook harassment. Kanye clearly needs psychological help. If this was a regular man—not a celebrity—people would not be cheering this behavior on. If the roles were reversed, and Kim was the one behaving like this, people would immediately label her as “crazy” and say she needs psychological help. Instead, the media is largely going one of two ways; either they are rallying in support of Kanye, saying he is fighting for his family, or they’re making it into a joke.
He is making all bipolar people look out of control. Most people with a diagnosis go to therapy, take medication, and use other coping mechanisms needed to manage their mental illness. With Kanye’s socio economic status, there is no reason for him to not be doing everything he is capable of to control himself. He is willingly allowing his mental health and his behavior to run wild because it gets him praise and attention online.
Until he gets his mental health under control, I think it’s dangerous for him to have access to his children, and him and his wife should only communicate through their lawyers. Not only is his behavior psychologically harmful to his family, but many are also concerned he poses a threat of physical harm.
Bipolar disorder isn’t an excuse to abuse or threaten others. Kanye West needs to be held accountable and get the treatment he clearly needs.