Opinion | What Kanye West's erratic 2020 proves about mental health in America

Society now encourages people to be open about their mental health struggles, but the world remains confused and disgusted by people with severe mental illness. People like me.

8/1/2020 9:36:00 PM

Opinion | Nylah Burton: Kanye West's struggles have the potential to ignite deeply important conversations about mental health conditions and how to support those with them. - NBCNewsTHINK

Society now encourages people to be open about their mental health struggles, but the world remains confused and disgusted by people with severe mental illness. People like me.

last year. Before she was killed, Turner begged for her life, telling the officer that she was pregnant, which an autopsy revealed she wasn't.Despite the horrifying ableism, racism and misogyny that Turner faced that night, the streets didn't burn for her. Her story didn't ignite a movement.

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West is obviously more privileged than most severely mentally ill people like Turner,some of whom experience violence or homelessnessbecause of a lack of resources. But his privilege is exactly why it's important to speak about him with intention. He is arguably the most visible person with a bipolar diagnosis in the world, and what society says about him has the potential to further the stigma against all people with bipolar or other severe mental illness.

During aconversation with David Letterman in 2018, the rapper addressed this issue directly. Bipolar disorder"is a health issue that has a strong stigma on it, and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way," West told Letterman."This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you're not going to push on him more."

In his own words, during a more stable moment, West told us all exactly why it's so dangerous for us to heavily and publicly criticize severely mentally ill people when they are in crisis. We're pushing on them more.So much of the stigma against those with severe mental illness stems from a lack of education, which is caused by our unwillingness to acknowledge the more painful, confusing parts of mental illness. The public simply doesn't know enough about how these conditions often cause hallucinations, mania, suicide attempts, delusions and incoherent and rapid speech. As a result, people don't see these behaviors just as socially unacceptable, but sometimes as dangerous or even immoral.

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THINK What his mental health, because its an issue for him and the fans that adore him THINK Leave him alone!!! It’s hard enough as it is!! THINK The first thing you should do about his mental condition is mind your fucking business. THINK I WOULD NEVER LISTEN TO HIM HE HAS NO COMMON SENSE HE HAS NOTHING TO OFFER.

THINK It’s not like these issues and every other issue is new. The issues have always been here. They are spoken about for a bit and then not. Kind of like fashion but more dangerous. Praying for everyone. THINK THINK Why is it erratic? Do you actually read his tweets? THINK Kanye chooses to not take his medication. The results are self inflicted and dangerous to people around him.

THINK My grandfather, his son graduate from Wharton school at Penn., and his daughter all diagnosed with bi-polar, or manic depression. I wish Kanya luck, it's not easy. THINK Well, once he said he didn’t want to treat his mental illness with medication because it makes him fat. That’s a big problem. Bipolar can be controlled if properly treated.

THINK Don't count on it. THINK I'm betting KanyeWest's mental issues are tied in to guilt that his wealth and success actually help bring on his mother's death from plastic surgery. THINK This is essay just goes on without saying much and certainly no solutions but it’s always been weird that people still use “demons” to discuss symptoms of mental illness and it is denied if the person is arrested for a crime.

THINK He's also talking a lot of truth and you know this bit, continue with the hit piece. Dem supporters love to see the destruction of anyone who supports potus. THINK Why are we talking about Kanye West's mental health but not Joe Biden, an actual Presidential candidate with dementia? THINK No, they won't. His family says he needs help and he's powerless, and he's tweeting he's just fine. Nothing will change, except he'll sell some more albums and interrupt someone else's speech at some point.

THINK He must just give up his presidency dream clearly we all see the cause of it. THINK I support people with mental health problems 💕

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Kanye West is 'huge burden' on Kim Kardashian as she moves on from tearful meetKim Kardashian has been pictured back at work with her SKIMS clothing brand as she looks to put a tearful reunion with husband Kanye West behind her Kim is probably paying off Kanye's debts to Jay Z and in return he acts crazy so Kim can look like the good guy and say she had no choice but to leave and get all the sympathy. DailyMirror Kanye wants to protect his children from that nasty bitch mother KrisJenner who exploits kids for her own selfish fame and profit. He should be supported not criticized.

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