Kim Kardashian Releases Statement About Kanye's Mental Health
What happened: After a week of speculation, ridicule and outright glee at Kanye West’s recent public comments and unexpected run for president, Kim Kardashian West released a statement addressing the situation. In a series of three Instagram stories, the media mogul said she wanted to speak up around the “stigma and misconceptions about mental health.” In addition to asking for empathy and understanding, she reminded people that, public figure or not, joking about mental illness harms many people.
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. — Kim Kardashian West
Other thoughts: Many mental health advocates, including singer-songwriters Halsey and Demi Lovato, have spoken out on social media about the dangers of making fun of people with mental illness, including Kanye.
“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 Twitter. “Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isn’t a joke. If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence.”
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. Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isnt a joke. If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence.
— h (@halsey) July 21, 2020
The Frontlines: Kardashian West also pointed out how difficult it can be for families to watch loved ones struggle while feeling helpless to intervene. In most cases, it’s very difficult to get an adult into mental health treatment without their consent in the process. As Kardashian West wrote on Instagram:
Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. 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.
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A Mighty Voice: The Mighty’s editorial director of the contributor network, Sarah Schuster, shared that you can criticize a celebrity like West without speculating about their mental health. “Whenever a celebrity catches our attention with behavior that seems strange, it’s easy to turn them into a joke or to discount what they’re saying because of how they’re saying it. If you believe West’s views deserve criticism, you can criticize them without making it about whether he’s manic or ‘off his meds.'” You can submit your first-person story, too.
Add your voice:
Other things to know: If you or a loved one are struggling with a bipolar disorder diagnosis, you’re not alone. Check out these other Mighty articles for more insight on living with the condition:
- Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder and Mania
- 11 ‘Taboo’ Symptoms of Living With Bipolar Disorder
- 7 ‘Habits’ of People With Bipolar Disorder
How to take action: As Kardashian West highlighted, it can be difficult to support a family member in the middle of a mental health crisis. Visit or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline for resources and support for you and your loved one.
Header image via Jtorquy / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)