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The Positives (and Negatives) of Kayne West Speaking Out About Bipolar Disorder

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As someone who has bipolar disorder, anytime someone in the public eye speaks out about having problems with their mental health, bipolar in particular, I generally think it’s a good thing. It can reduce stigma and bring more light to the subject. It can get people talking about the issue and raise awareness. It can also allow others who have the disorder, but perhaps feel alone, to know there are others out there who also have this illness, and not only that, that they are able to function and be successful. All of these things must be good points to Kayne West speaking out.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

However, it’s vital that people who others look up to speak about mental illness in a responsible way. In my opinion, stating that bipolar isn’t a disability feels as though he is undermining what people who live with go through, and saying that we shouldn’t be struggling. Saying it isn’t a disability suggests it doesn’t impact our lives so massively, which it does! It can make life incredibly hard and can make it hard to function. In my life, it has been a disability, and that isn’t something to be ashamed of or shy away from.

By stating it makes him a superhero, I can see how this could be seen as empowering, and to a point I agree with this. It’s good to be positive, and I see myself as a warrior. I’m strong and I fight through the illness. On the other hand, it could be seen as glorifying mania and suggesting it’s always a good thing.

In conclusion, and I want to emphasize this is only my opinion, I feel there are both positives and negatives to Kayne West speaking out. Everyone is free to speak about their experiences with their own illness as they see fit, and if this is how he feels then he has every right to voice that. But with being famous comes responsibility to speak carefully about important issues, and I feel he could, and should, have taken more care in this regard.

Lead photo via Kim Kardashian West’s Facebook

Originally published: June 2, 2018
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