Kanye West Opens Up About His Bipolar Disorder & Mental Health Journey With David Letterman


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Anyone who has followed the rapper turned inspirational/motivational/spiritual speaker, Kanye West, either through his own actions in direct media or through his reality star wife’s trademark television show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, we all know that Kanye West is known for speaking up his mind, be it at odd hours, in odd ways, with nice words or with harsh ones.

Just in the Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode that aired two days ago, for example, the plot line follows Kanye West’s “uncalled for” and “oddly timed” text to Kris Jenner’s boyfriend, Corey Gamble, whom he messaged at 6 in the morning asking about his family and why the Kardashian clan hasn’t ever met with his family. With that example in mind and countless others such as Kanye West’s public feuds with celebrity icons such as Taylor Swift, where he comes forward in seemingly brutally honest statements, we know that this is something that is also accepted and acknowledged by his own wife, Kim Kardashian, who says that Kanye often means well but just doesn’t have the right way to express it.

The Grammy winner has now come forward to speak about his mental health journey candidly on his latest interview on the David Letterman Netflix show: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The episode is scheduled to air in two days’ time, on the 31st of May on Netflix, and on this episode, Kanye is expected to delve into detail about the stigma surrounding the people who have mental health issues as well as his own personal diagnosis with bipolar disorder and the journey that he’s on to overcome it.

According to the episode’s tease that we’ve seen so far, Kanye says to David Letterman on the show:

What I want to say about the bipolar thing is because it has the word ‘bi’ in it, it has the idea of, like, split personality. Well, that works for me because I’m a Gemini, but when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more. You can become almost more adolescent in your expression or border into places. This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now.”

He continues, adding that:

There’s no dumb easy way to explain, it’s just something that you know we’re going to have to take time to understand. There’s things where you would’ve just locked your—you know, a hundred years ago they may have locked your uncle in the room…”

Further along into the episode, Kanye says on his own accord that:

I’m starting to research these things because the experience of when you go through an episode, if you actually go to the hospital, there’s a moment that I have to talk about publicly that has to be changed. So, I’m gonna talk about this publicly so this moment can change. So, when you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything. Everyone. This is my experience. Some people have other experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything is a conspiracy. You see everything. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all of these things.”

You know Kanye isn’t one to let these issues slide under the rug. He’s open and honest and candidly clear on what he knows. He further says on the show:

And you get taken, and you have this moment. You feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone, and they have this moment where they put you, they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know. They don’t do that to pregnant women. That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment…when you are in that state, you have to have someone you trust. It is cruel and primitive to do that.”

Here’s another one that they love to do when you get the stigma of crazy. They love to write you off. They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much. Sometimes, for me, I think it’s a form of protection for me, because if I’m peeping something that people don’t want me to think about or know as a celebrity, ‘Oh, he’s just crazy,’ and then I go home. If they didn’t think I was crazy, it may be a problem.”

On being prompted by David Letterman regarding whether his creativity suffers because of all that he faces with his bipolar disorder as well as the way that the world responds to it, he said the following:

Oh yeah, that’s just the reality. You know, if you guys want these crazy ideas and these crazy stages, this crazy music and this crazy way of thinking, there’s a chance it might come from a crazy person.”

He laughed after this. This interview is just another example of Kanye West’s candid ability to come forward about issues that plague society, things that nobody is willing to acknowledge or talk about. He often takes the heat for being so brutally honest all the time but at least he’s being honest and his harsh forwarding of an issue may well be received negatively, but it’s one step forward in opening up and expanding the boundaries of these very relevant discussions that we need to have. This is something we’ve seen in Kanye since he started to open up publicly about his personal life. This is seen on Keeping Up With The Kardashians as well as in all the statements he now makes ever so publicly about what he’s feeling, experiencing, thinking, and looking to do.

This interview with Kanye West is scheduled to release as part of the second season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. The season is set to premiere on Netflix on the 31st of May, 2019, so tune in to watch the full interview and get the real low down on these issues.


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