Kanye West has always maintained a reputation for his shocking and entertaining antics. That being said, his recent behavior has prompted fans to worry about the musician’s mental health. The rapper and Yeezy designer announced his diagnosis with bipolar disorder in 2019 and his current behavior appears to be a product of the illness. Amidst all the public scrutiny and criticism, many celebrities have spoken out to defend Kanye and show compassion for his battle with mental illness – but one A-list couple went the extra mile to offer their support in-person.
Kanye’s political and personal announcements
Kanye West is no stranger to public controversy, but his recent outbursts make his past behavior seem tame in comparison. On July 4, Kanye took to Twitter to announce his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election and the public didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Following the tweet, Kanye told Forbes that he decided to run for president because he no longer supports Donald Trump. He also admitted one of the primary reasons he initially supported the current president was because he “likes Trump Hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
His campaign announcement was the first installment in Kanye’s series of notorious exhibitions. Most notably, Kanye held a South Carolina campaign rally on July 19, in an effort to gain the 10,000 signatures necessary to secure his spot on the ballot. During his speech at the event, Kanye emotionally declared his pro-life stance and shouted, “I almost killed my daughter, I love my daughter!” in reference to his wife, Kim Kardashian West’s potential abortion of their first child. In another infamous clip from the same speech, Kanye professed “Harriet Tubman never freed the slaves. She just had them go work for other white people.” The rapper’s belligerent behavior continued on Twitter in the weeks following his rally.
Reactions vary from compassion to criticism
Trailing Kanye’s public declaration about their personal life, inside sources confirmed Kim Kardashian West was not speaking to her husband. After accusing his wife of trying to “lock him up”, Kanye tweeted a public apology, “To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.” Immediately following the rally, Kim spent over a week away from Kanye before flying to visit him in Wyoming.
In response to the onslaught of public criticism, numerous friends of the Kardashian-West family spoke out to encourage support and empathy for Kanye’s battle with mental illness. Halsey tweeted her understanding of Kanye’s situation because she also battles bipolar disorder, “Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isn’t a joke. If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence.” Maren Morris also addressed the issue on Twitter, “Mental illness isn’t f***ing funny. Stop laughing at it and trending it like it’s a joke.” Jamie Lynn Spears, Kevin McHale, and Nina Parker also shared their support on social media for those struggling with mental illness.
Kanye accepts help and support from friends
Justin and Hailey Bieber were road-tripping through the western United States when they received the invitation to join Kanye at his ranch in Wyoming. An insider source told E! that Justin was “excited to see Kanye and to be able to talk music with him.” More importantly, Justin made the trip to help Kanye through this difficult time, “Justin has been through similar situations and has been giving advice to Kanye. It’s been calming and reassuring for Kanye to hear Justin’s experience… Kanye is very happy Justin stopped by, and he has been a positive reinforcement towards Kanye’s outlook.”
A few days before Justin’s visit, Kanye’s longtime friend, Dave Chappelle, flew to Wyoming to offer some support. During Dave’s stay on the ranch, Kanye shared a video on Twitter to show his appreciation, “Dave you are a godsend and a true friend. All love.” When prompted to say a few words in the video, the comedian responds, “Brotherhood is real. Love is real.”
Dealing with mental illness is never easy and going through a manic episode in the public eye adds even more emotional stress. Kanye West’s current struggle serves as a reminder that he’s human; society often forgets that those in the entertainment industry face their own challenges. In previous discussions about his mental health, Kanye has stated that he depends on love and encouragement from those around him to push through challenging times — and the past few weeks have proven that Kanye has a lot of people rooting for his recovering.
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