Kanye West opens up about the stigma of bipolar and suffering ‘hyper-paranoia’

Kanye West discusses the stigma of his bipolar disorder diagnosis, suffering ‘hyper-paranoia’ and how he was ‘handcuffed and drugged’ in a mental health facility

Kanye West has accused people of using his bipolar diagnosis to ‘discriminate’ him ‘in any way’. 

The 41-year-old rapper was diagnosed with the mental health condition two years ago, and has likened his illness to a ‘sprained brain’, as he slammed critics for taking the issue and doing ‘everything to make it worse’, just because bipolar has a ‘strong stigma’ attached to it. 

He said: ‘It’s a health issue that has a strong stigma on it and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way. 

‘Strong stigma’: Kanye West opened up about being discriminated for his bipolar disorder diagnosis and suffering the extreme paranoia that comes with his episodes 

Speaking during an appearance on Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, he said: ‘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. 

‘With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse. They do everything possible. They got us to that point and they do everything to make it worse.’

Kanye – who has North, five, Saint, three, Chicago, 16 months, and newborn Psalm with his wife Kim Kardashian West – also hit out at mental health facilities, as he alleged he suffered poor treatment when he visited one. 

'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,' the 41-year-old rapper explained

‘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,’ the 41-year-old rapper explained

Kanye recalled of being admitted to a mental health facility: '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.'

Kanye recalled of being admitted to a mental health facility: ‘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.’

'It is cruel and primitive' he said of how he was treated at a medical center during the time of his nervous breakdown in 2016

‘It is cruel and primitive’ he said of how he was treated at a medical center during the time of his nervous breakdown in 2016

He added: ‘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. 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. They love to write you off. They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much.’

The Heartless rapper spoke about the different moods he experiences through his bipolar diagnosis, and said that he feels more ‘adolescent’ when he’s ‘ramped up’, compared to feeling ‘hyper-paranoid’ when he’s going through a severe ‘episode’.

‘When you ramp up, it expresses your personality more. You can become almost more adolescent in your expression. 

‘This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now. 

'You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded': Kanye revealed that when he is in a manic episode he can be hyper-paranoid about everything

‘You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded’: Kanye revealed that when he is in a manic episode he can be hyper-paranoid about everything

‘When you’re in this [episode] state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything. Everyone – this is my experience, other people have different experiences – everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things.’ 

Kanye was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center in November 2016 after suffering a temporary psychosis reportedly brought on by sleep deprivation and extreme dehydration following a stream of political rants to his fans and cancelled concerts.

On his 2018 album, Ye, West appeared to confirm he had been diagnosed with bipolar after months of speculation.

Shortly after, during a radio interview, Kanye stated that he was diagnosed with a ‘mental condition’ at age 39 and called it his ‘superpower’.

However, when speaking with Donald Trump in October 2018, the rapper claimed he was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and was just sleep deprived.

'This is my specific experience that I've had': Kanye, pictured with wife Kim Kardashian, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago

‘This is my specific experience that I’ve had’: Kanye, pictured with wife Kim Kardashian, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago 

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