Mental Health expert offers insight on Kanye West's Bipolar Disorder after the rapper's recent behavior

In an interview with Dr Aloke, who has been practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for past 16 years, we tried to confront the stigma around bipolar disorder which is affecting Kanye West.

Updated on Feb 23, 2022 04:38 AM IST  |  629.2K
Kanye West
Mental Health expert offers insight on Kanye West's Bipolar Disorder after the rapper's recent behavior
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Musician Kanye West's troubled mental state has been widely publicised via tweetstorms and Instagram posts. West has made a number of perplexing and frequently offensive statements during his time dabbling in conservative politics. He has always been known for his strong opinions, outspoken personality, and headline-grabbing statements.

Kanye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, which he has since openly discussed. He has stated that he suffers from manic episodes, which typically include paranoia, and that he is not medicated for the condition. In an interview with Dr Aloke, who has been practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the past 16 years, we tried to confront the stigma around this mental disorder.

depressive state

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a type of depressive disorder. He states, “There are very many reasons and causes to it including childhood emotional trauma, any kind of abuse or molestation, undue pressure from others, repressed or suppressed emotions for a long time and constant worry and insecurity, etc. A person suffering from such disorder may end up behaving erratically, showing a lot of mood swings.’’ Kanye's recent erratic behaviour appears to be consistent with a bipolar diagnosis. “At times, one may feel depressed and hopeless, have suicidal thoughts, have no interest in anything, and have a low self-esteem, thinking, "I'm worthless.", he explains. On the other hand, manic episodes are characterised by an elated mood, described by some as 'feeling high'. “When in a maniac phase, the person loses control and throws tantrums, becomes aggressive over trivial matters, and has a sense of self-importance, as if he or she is the king. Maniacs believe they can do anything, may become delusory, and desire complete control over everything.,” he adds. He further emphasises that a variety of stressors and factors, both known and unknown, can contribute to both manic episodes and cyclical depressive phases.

manic

When you're a celebrity, your mental health issues are on display for the world to see. You are frequently criticised, mocked, chastised, and compared to others. People who don't know you or your history pass judgement on you and label you with diagnoses. “From a therapeutic point of view, Kanye’s behaviour stems from insecurity and a fear of losing. People in the glam world are always image-conscious and try to make up by hook or by crook. Creative personalities are more sensitive and emotional, which may be one of the reasons for developing a depressive disorder. They tend to remain aloof, immersed in their own world, which can lead to apathy’’, Dr Aloke comments.

therapy

Can bipolar disorder be treated?

Great strides have been made in recent years to de-stigmatize mental health, but much work remains to be done, as evidenced by the sensationalization of Kanye's personal struggles as "entertainment" and "drama."

Practicing CBT and lifestyle changes may be a way to level out these extremes. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a research-based therapy that aids in the treatment of a variety of psycho-emotional disorders, including bipolar disorder. It teaches several important skills that target the core ways bipolar disorder affects you, Dr Aloke says. Some of these include:

  1. Guided Discovery: A therapist assists a client in understanding his or her behaviour and feelings, as well as the possible causes and solutions.

  2. Emotional Stability: Attempting to generate empathy for others and, most importantly, for oneself. When one can empathise with oneself, it is easier to accept failures, respect one's feelings, and then take care of oneself.

  3. Cognitive restructuring: Entails attempting to develop a neutral approach by viewing things from a third person's perspective, attempting to generate alternative thinking for unnecessary negative thoughts, and attempting to formulate alternative responses.

  4. Active meditation: Mindfulness and involvement in the present moment, attempting to focus on the 'here and now,' learning from the past and looking forward to the future with logic. 

  5. Relaxation techniques: Breathing exercises, participation in hobbies

The media has the ability to alleviate the stigma associated with mental illness. They can provide resources. Cover cautiously, even if it means offering privacy to the celebrity and their family regardless of how public the situation becomes. And as humans, we have a responsibility not to portray people in such a way that we harm them and potentially harm others who suffer from these disorders.

Also Read: 5 Times Kubbra Sait inspired us with her intense workout regime

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