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Why Mental Illness Should Be Taken Seriously


Kanye West


While Kanye West is hospitalized and reportedly ‘under spiritual attack’ – whatever this means – I was thinking about the taboo attached to mental illness.

‘He feels like he’s under spiritual attack, and has been for awhile. It’s not just the big things; it’s smaller, quieter things, internal things. You might think that it’s about Kim’s robbery, and while that didn’t help, that’s not what’s going on here. He’s dealing with a lot more subtle issues,’ the source tells PEOPLE.

When you read stuff like this, it’s clear that something really serious is happening in his head. He may have been mentally ill for years, and that would explain his erratic behavior, his senseless rants, his verbal diarrheas during which he was always elevating himself to some grandiose and crazy comparisons. He has compared himself to Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Jesus, Picasso, Walt Disney, Michaelangelo,… he has repeatedly declared his own genius and his god-like attributes, and people were listening to this crazy shit and approving? Laughing? Mocking? Nobody was asking the right questions.

I don’t know what kind of treatment he has received, if he has received any, but shouldn’t people in his entourage have been alarmed years ago? Shouldn’t he have been treated years ago? Instead of recognizing the signs of some mental disorder, he was praised and raised to the star-genius status and I am sure that his sycophantic entourage was there every minute to flatter him and approve his folie. Meanwhile Kanye was diving deeper into darkness.

I have also made fun of Kanye’s insane rants, but I have always been baffled by the fact that people were taking him seriously… Pitchfork has repeatedly transcribed every single word of his rants, none of them were making real sense, but they have never questioned his state of mind. ‘Sad Kanye’ may be an internet meme, but it should have been taken seriously.

Are we so politically correct that we can’t call a mental disease by its name when we see one? There’s such a stigma attached to mental illness that it’s difficult for our society to admit that someone is suffering from such a disorder, and it’s even more difficult to recognize it in one of our most famous stars.

I am not a Kanye West’s fan or a specialist of his work, but it’s easy to know that his album ‘808s and Heartbreak’, released after the death of his mother, was exploring themes related to chronic depression, may be it was a cry for help, however I have never read anyone even alluding to the fact that Kanye may be seriously depressed. Being a rapper probably didn’t help, this is not a world where words like depression and mental illness are often talked about.

Even now, when he is still at the hospital, away from his family during Thanksgiving, you don’t read these terms, instead you can read that Kanye is suffering from ‘temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration’! You can also read about exhaustion…. Are they serious? I have been sleep depraved, exhausted and dehydrated… and if you may get dehydrated after running a marathon when it’s 90ºF outside, you don’t get dehydrated in November sitting in a recording studio or in an air conditioned house. This is dishonest and cruel, as there’s something more serious going on with Kanye West, something darker. And this should have been addressed years ago.

If Kanye West didn’t have money, he could well be one of these poor homeless men I see in the streets, talking to themselves and fighting invisible enemies, this is what happens after years of untreated mental illness. Let’s hope Kanye West can get a good treatment… unless all this is a joke and he is pulling a trick to get the insurance money as some sources have suggested.

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