CelebrityKanye West Mental Illness: How Does He Feel? Can It Explain Kanye's...

Kanye West Mental Illness: How Does He Feel? Can It Explain Kanye’s Actions?

Ye, a rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has a history of making statements on mental illness in his works of art. “I hate being Bi-Polar it’s fantastic,” West penned on the album cover of a 2018 album. Bipolar disorder was referred to be his “superpower” in the song “Yikes.”

West has recently made headlines for acting erratically and publishing anti-Semitic tweets and Instagram postings. The remarks have sparked a number of online debates over whether the conduct is consistent with mental illness, as have previous actions like wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during Paris Fashion Week and babbling during an interview with conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson.

Even if it is impossible to determine whether West’s actions or remarks are a result of his mental health, the majority of specialists concur that those who have bipolar disorder might act erratically, occasionally lose their “filter,” and say or do things that are improper for social situations.

In order to learn more about living with bipolar illness, how it is treated, and how much it can alter a person’s behavior, The Washington Post consulted with therapists, psychiatrists, and individuals who have been diagnosed with the condition. So they said, as follows.

What Is the Sensation of Bipolar Disorder?

Kanye West Mental Illness

Rwenshaun Miller, a therapist in Charlotte who is 35 years old, treats people with a variety of illnesses, including bipolar disorder, and he himself has the illness. He claimed that he feels like “a superhero” during manic episodes.

The founder of a nonprofit organization devoted to helping Black and Brown communities with mental health services, Miller, said, “It’s like you’ve got a battery pack on your back, and you’re always on the go.”

Extreme mood fluctuations, including manic “highs” and debilitating depressive episodes, can be a symptom of bipolar illness. The onset of manic highs and depressive lows can be irregular or frequent, and they can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Symptoms can differ greatly from person to person. Through medicine and therapy, the illness can be largely controlled.

To feel like “the coolest kid in the world,” Cameron Kasky, a gun control activist who has openly discussed struggling with bipolar disorder, claimed he had gone from “the lowest depths.” In a manic state, according to Kasky, he often makes rasher, less deliberate decisions and spends more money.

Mania is something you may feel quite powerful with, according to Kasky. And since it boosts your mental processes and causes your neurons to fire so quickly, it is a strong thing. But it can cause you to act rashly.

In the manic phase, people frequently engage in risky behavior, such as gambling or having sex with numerous partners, according to Robert Hirschfeld, a physician and professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine who specializes in the treatment of bipolar disorder and depression in adults. They might speak very quickly, weaving together a variety of topics.

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Some people may believe they are “the richest or the smartest person in the world” at the height of the frenzy, according to Hirschfeld.

Many patients with the bipolar disease have periods of creativity while they are manic, and some of them are reluctant to take medication. Many famous people, including the singer Demi Lovato and the host of the television show Jane Pauley, have openly discussed living with bipolar disorder. In interviews, Lovato stated that while she was manic, she felt “invincible” and was able to stay up until 5 a.m. and create seven songs in one night.

According to Isha Metzger, a clinical psychology professor at the University of Georgia, “many describe it as a natural high.” They experience productivity that they don’t experience when they are in a more upset condition because of their racing thoughts, which frequently contribute to production.

What Happens After a Manic Episode?

Kanye West Mental Illness

According to experts, the swing “down” into a depressed phase, in which a person may experience sadness, disinterest, and hopelessness about everything, is a major source of the suffering associated with bipolar disorder.

As much as “12, even 16 hours” can be slept on at once, according to Hirschfeld. Bipolar illness instances, according to experts, are frequently identified when a person is in this depressive condition because that is when people are more likely to seek therapy.

According to Hirschfeld, the craze “may make enormous messes and wreck people’s lives and families in a short amount of time.” However, long-term harm from depression is likely to be greatest.

Can Bipolar Disorder Make You Do Strange Things?

Due to West’s erratic conduct, a lot of people have been debating on social media whether the bipolar disease may cause someone to say or act in ways that many people find offensive or to make racist statements. Later, after reporting his diagnosis, West changed his mind, attributing some behaviors to sleep deprivation. But he was more candid in a 2019 David Letterman interview.

West said, “I ramp up and I go high.” “If you don’t regularly take medication to maintain a specific state, you run the risk of ramping up to the point where you could even need to go to the hospital. And you begin acting erratically, to use TMZ’s terminology.

The majority of experts concur that individuals with bipolar disorder may say or do things they subsequently regret while they are in a manic phase. For example, a person may take more risks, use drugs, gamble, or spend money beyond their means while experiencing manic episodes. An ordinarily faithful partner may also have an affair. According to research, even being arrested and being imprisoned are “possible consequences” of bipolar disorder.

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Hirschfeld stated, “What I will say, without getting into anything about a specific person, is that it is not uncommon for people to act in ways they would never, ever expect them to. “I’ve seen a lot of happy-married individuals who suddenly go from never considering cheating on their partner to becoming maniacal, hypersexual, and out on the streets picking up random strangers. They have a shocking amount of regret.

Over time, it could be challenging to tell the difference between a person’s behavior and sickness. According to Steve Hyman, a professor at Harvard and the head of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT, the question of whether “my brain made me do it,” is it me or my condition, is typically just too convoluted and challenging. “Courts always have trouble with this.

Frequently, there is no clear distinction between a person as they would have been if they were healthy and the impact of mental disease.

“Racism itself is not a mental health problem,” according to Metzger, a professor at the University of Georgia who directs a lab devoted to mental health research and education, and “a mental health disorder does not excuse racism.” These views are not a sign of bipolar disease, according to Metzger. It’s possible that they will flow out if there isn’t a filter.

What Happens in The Brain During a Manic Episode?

Both genetic and environmental factors appear to be associated with bipolar disorder, and it can run in families. Although the disorder is still not entirely understood, it seems to be caused, at least in part, by chemical imbalances in the brain.

According to Chase Anderson, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, a person with bipolar illness appears to have a higher level of “excitatory neurotransmitters” — such as dopamine — in the brain during a manic state.

We’re still looking into the specifics of how this operates, Anderson added.

According to Metzger of the University of Georgia, people characterize a manic phase as “a natural high” in which they have heightened self-esteem and racing ideas, a state that frequently results in increased levels of productivity. Even though some cases of mania can result in people making unsafe judgments, Metzger noted that many people claim to love their manic moments.

Recently, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University discovered a gene that increases a person’s risk of developing both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. And according to Hyman, other genes have been identified that each has a “modest effect” on a person’s propensity for bipolar disease.

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What’s the Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Sleep?

Sleep Deprivation Is Bad News for Bipolar Patients | Psychology Today Canada

Since disturbed sleep is frequently one of the first signs of bipolar disorder that physicians identify in patients, Anderson claimed that psychiatrists view it as “a disorder of sleep.” According to Anderson, those with the most severe form of the bipolar disease frequently remain awake for days on end.

Hirschfeld said, “You’re exhausted if you don’t receive your typical amount of sleep.” However, when a person is manic, they only get two to three hours of sleep and don’t even feel slightly sleepy.

Manic episodes can also be brought on by insufficient sleep or sleep disruptions like transatlantic travel. After transatlantic travel, many people experience their first episode, according to Hirschfeld. “A manic episode can unquestionably be triggered by the disruption of regular circadian rhythms.”

How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

Kanye West Mental Illness

Hirschfeld developed a 13-part questionnaire 20 years ago that doctors use frequently to check patients for illness.

The assessment includes questions about whether a person has ever felt so energized that they got into trouble, whether they have ever felt more self-assured than usual, whether they have ever done things that others would have considered foolish or risky, whether they have ever an unusual interest in sex, or whether they have ever overspent and experienced problems as a result.

Hirschfeld clarified that just when you performed well on the test, bipolar disorder is not necessarily the result. It simply implies that a mental health specialist who addresses the disease should evaluate you.

Because the bipolar disease is “a bit of a chameleon” and can mimic other conditions like depression and personality disorders, the problem is that it can occasionally go undiagnosed.

What Is the Treatment?

Psychiatrists will recommend drugs, frequently referred to as mood stabilizers, like lithium, Depakote, and lamotrigine. According to Anderson, depending on a patient’s symptoms while they are manic, doctors will occasionally prescribe a cocktail of medications, which may include an antipsychotic.

The severity or frequency of a person’s manic episodes may increase over time if they go untreated, according to doctors. Although there is no known treatment for the ailment, it is possible to control abnormal brain activity with medication, enabling those who have it to lead useful and satisfying lives.

According to Hirschfeld, the ailment should be treated like other chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, which need lifelong medicine to manage.

According to Hirschfeld, patients with bipolar disorder frequently remain in denial and need “two to three bad episodes” before realizing they need to get help. People “lose a whole decade of their lives before they understand they have an ailment,” his experience, he said.


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