Kim Kardashian West has spoken out about her husband Kanye West’s bipolar disorder for the first time, describing him as a “brilliant but complicated person”.
Writing on her Instagram story, she said that “those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions”.
The reality star’s post followed a string of concerning tweets from her husband, who claimed he had been trying to divorce her and that she had tried to “lock me up”.
Responding to the rapper’s now-deleted Twitter rant, Kardashian West told her 180 million followers: “As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder.
“Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.
“I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health.
“But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”
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Kardashian West described how the loved ones of those with mental illness are “powerless”, adding that the individual has to “engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try”.
“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions,” she said.
“He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bipolar disorder (sic).”
The mother-of-four asked for her husband to be treated with “compassion and empathy”, adding: “We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most.”
You can read her full post here.
Bipolar disorder is characterised by intense mood swings which can range from extreme highs to extreme lows, the NHS website says.
Sufferers can experience episodes of mania and depression that often last for several weeks or months.
People with bipolar disorder may make uncharacteristic and risky decisions, often without realising their harmful effects, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
West, known for hits including Gold Digger and Stronger, announced he was running for president earlier this month.
In his first rally on Sunday, he broke down in tears while describing how he was nearly aborted by his parents, saying: “There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy.”
He also referenced a decision he made with his wife Kim not to abort a pregnancy.
“I almost killed my daughter… even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to,” he said.
In his recent Twitter outburst, West appeared to consider postponing his presidential bid until 2024.
He also claimed his wife was trying to have him locked up on medical grounds, and compared himself to Nelson Mandela.
:: Anyone feeling distressed by the mental health aspect of this story can contact the Samaritans for help or advice on 116 123 or email@example.com in the UK. In the US you can contact them on 1 (800) 273-TALK.