Kanye’s Twitter tirade sheds light on society’s battle with mental health stigma
Some joked in response to the rapper’s ramblings, but others stood up for him.
On Monday night, Kanye West sent out a series of alarming tweets, many of which were quickly deleted, where he made some strange claims about his wife and mother-in-law.
West said that his wife, Kim Kardashian, was attempting to get him “locked up” and made not-so-subtle criticisms of her past leaked sex tape and Playboy cover.
He also said that Kim’s mom, Kris Jenner, was “not allowed around his children.”
These tweets come amid reports from TMZ and People that Kanye’s family is very concerned that he may be going through a very serious mental health episode.
West has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mood disorder that swings between extreme highs, mania or hypomania, and extreme lows of depression.
Following his erratic tweets, many Twitter users took advantage of the situation to make jokes, but one celebrity simply had no time for the lack of compassion and understanding.
Halsey, the now 25-year-old singer/songwriter, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 17, and has been very open about her mental health struggles throughout her entire career.
Her most recent album released in January is titled Manic and the songs were written during when she was experiencing a manic episode.
In May, she had a one-on-one intimate discussion with licensed therapist Dr. Snehi Kapur on Youtube to explore mental health and her personal journey, and to raise money for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Halsey took to Twitter and wrote to her 2.9 million followers, standing up for Kanye and urging everyone not to mock mental illness or insult people who live with them.
“No jokes right now. I have dedicated my career to offering education and insight about bipolar disorder and I’m so disturbed by what I’m seeing. Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isn’t a joke. If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence,” she wrote.
She reminded people that they may know someone who lives with bipolar disorder and these offensive jokes only contribute to the stigma that keeps people from talking about it and seeking the help they desperately need.
Halsey went on to explain how, whether or not you agree with someone’s actions or opinions, “making fun of them for a mental health crisis damages an entire community of sometimes vulnerable people all for a couple of laughs.”
Kim Kardashian West also posted a statement this morning on her Instagram story about her husband’s illness.
“‘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,” she said.
Kim has never spoken publicly about Kanye’s illness before, but said she wanted to speak on it because there are so many misconceptions about mental health. She wanted to make it known that Kanye’s diagnosis “does not diminish his dreams and his creative ideas.”
Glee star Kevin McHale also tweeted in support of Kanye and urged his followers to refrain from making jokes.
“It’s easy to laugh and make jokes at something we don’t personally have to confront, but it’s also just as easy to have empathy for struggle because we all have had to confront that,” he wrote.
The stigma of mental illness in society is far-reaching and the impact of it is amplified when it comes to public figures. If more people like Halsey, Kim Kardashian and Kevin McHale continue to support people in times of crisis, the stigma will continue to break.