Warning: This story contains sensitive content and explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
Kardashian took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday, asking fans for “compassion” as she publicly addressed West’s diagnosis for the first time.
“As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder,” Kardashian, 39, wrote. “Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.”
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression), according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic adds that episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year, and while most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.
“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,” Kardashian said.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behaviour know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor,” she continued. “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,” the Keeping up With the Kardashians star continued. “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 bipolar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions.”
Kardashian said that “living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate” West’s “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,” she wrote. “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,” Kardashian concluded.
People reports that West seemed to reference Kardashian’s statement before it was released, tweeting late Tuesday night: “Kriss and Kim put out a statement without my approval … that’s not what a wife should do.” The tweet has since been deleted.
Kardashian is not the only person speaking out about bipolar disorder following West’s rally.
Halsey, who has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said that “a manic episode isn’t a joke.”
“No jokes right now. I have dedicated my career to offering education and insight about bipolar disorder and I’m so disturbed by what I’m seeing,” Halsey wrote on Monday. “Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isn’t a joke. If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence.
“A lot of people you know probably have bipolar disorder and you aren’t aware of it,” the 25-year-old sing continued. “Taking this opportunity to make offensive remarks and vilify people with mental illnesses is really not the way to go… this is the exact triggering s–t that causes people to keep quiet about it.”
The Without Me singer said: “You can hate someone’s actions or opinions without contributing to stigma that damages an entire community of sometimes vulnerable people all for a couple of laughs.
“If you wanna think someone is an a–hole, go ahead. Lots of people with mental illnesses are great. Lots of them are a–holes. Because they are people. With nuanced personalities. But making jokes specifically targeted towards bipolar hurts more than the one person you’re angry with,” she added.
“Sincerely, Human Being with a Decade Long Bipolar Diagnosis,” Halsey concluded.
On Monday, West alleged that Kardashian and her mother Kris Jenner were trying to “lock (him) up.”
“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 daughter’s life yesterday,” he tweeted.
West was making reference to his comments while speaking at a campaign rally in Charleston, S.C., when he broke down in tears when talking about abortion.
“I almost killed my daughter,” he said to the crowd, saying he and wife Kardashian had considered terminating a pregnancy.
“Forty-three years ago, who do you think protected a child? My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me,” West told the crowd as he started to cry. “My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy.
“In the Bible, it says, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ I remember my girlfriend called me screaming and crying … she said, ‘I’m pregnant’ … She said she was pregnant and for one month and two months and three months, we talked about her not having this child. She had the pills in her hand.”
West said that he was in the Paris “apartment where my wife was actually robbed” when “the screen went black and white and God said, ‘If you f— with my vision, I’m gonna f— with yours.’ And I called my wife, and she said, ‘We’re gonna have this baby.’ I said, ‘We’re gonna have this child.’”
“Even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech,” West said. “She brought North into the world even when I didn’t want to.
“She stood up and she protected that child,” West added.
West and Kardashian got married in 2014 and share four children together: North, 8, Saint, 4, Chicago, 2, and Psalm, 14 months.
West was previously hospitalized almost four years ago in November 2016 after police responded to a report of an altercation between West and another person at the home of his personal trainer.
The Life of Pablo rapper was reportedly experiencing “temporary psychosis” caused by dehydration and sleep deprivation. He checked out of the UCLA Medical Center after his nine-day stay under the care of his wife, Kardashian, and physician Dr. Michael Farzam.
West was embroiled in controversy in the days leading up to his hospitalization. He went on a 15-minute rant in 2016 at his concert in Sacramento, Calif., about Beyoncé, Jay Z, Hillary Clinton, DJ Khaled, Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift and Lebron James.
In 2018, debuted his album Ye, and the album art read: “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.