Kim Kardashian West addresses husband Kanye West's 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," Kim Kardashian West wrote.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend Paris Fashion Week on March 1, 2020.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend Paris Fashion Week on March 1, 2020.Pierre Suu / Getty Images

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By Janelle Griffith

Kim Kardashian West spoke out about Kanye West's bipolar disorder Wednesday, three days after the rapper delivered a lengthy monologue at a campaign event touching on topics from abortion to Harriet Tubman, and after he said he has been trying to divorce her.

Kardashian West said in a statement posted in an Instagram Story that she has never spoken publicly about how West's bipolar disorder has affected their family because she is very protective of their children and her husband's "right to privacy when it comes to his health."

"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 wrote.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. An effective treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy.

Kardashian West, 39, said she felt the need to comment "because of the stigma and misconception about mental health."

"Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor," she wrote. "People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try."

She said she understood West is subject to criticism because he is a public figure whose actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions.

"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, she wrote.

She said those who know West, who announced July 4 that he was running for president, know his heart and understand "his words sometimes do not align with his intentions."

She added that living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, "no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some."

"That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true," Kardashian West wrote. "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 time when they need it the most."

Kardashian West closed her statement by asking that the media and the public give them "the compassion and empathy that is needed" so that they can get through this. She also thanked those who have expressed concern for West.

West claimed in a series of tweets Tuesday night that he has been trying to end his marriage since Kardashian West consulted with rapper Meek Mill over prison reform. "Meek is my man and was respectful," West added. "That’s my dog Kim was out of line." It is unclear what meetup he is referring to but Kardashian West and Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, headlined a summit in November 2018. West also referred to his mother-in-law Kris Jenner as "Kris Jong Un" in one of the tweets that have been deleted.

West, wearing a protective vest and "2020” shaved into his head, became tearful at a purported campaign rally Sunday in North Charleston, South Carolina, while talking about his mother, Donda, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, S.C., on July 19, 2020.Randall Hill / Reuters

He ranted against Tubman at the event, saying the Underground Railroad conductor "never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people," which drew shouts of dissent from some in the crowd.

He also spoke tearfully against abortion, saying he and Kardashian West had seriously considered terminating their first pregnancy.

But a message from God changed his mind, he said, and in a telephone call, Kardashian West told him, "We're going to have this baby." The couple gave birth to their first child, daughter North, in 2013. They have three other children: Saint, Chicago and Psalm.

"So even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn't want to," West said. "She stood up, and she protected that child."

West said his mother was in a similar situation when she was pregnant with him.

"My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy," West said, breaking down into tears.

He added, sobbing, "I almost killed my daughter."

West, 43, posted, then deleted a series of tweets Monday night claiming that his wife was trying to get him hospitalized.

"Kim tried to bring a doctor to lock me up with a doctor," he tweeted.

In a string of wide-ranging tweets, he also claimed that the movie "Get Out"was based on him and asked his mother-in-law to call him.

"If I get locked up like Mandela, Ya'll will know why," West tweeted, referencing the late president of South Africa.

On Tuesday, he tweeted a video with comedian Dave Chappelle. "THANK YOU DAVE FOR HOPPING ON A JET TO COME SEE ME DOING WELL DAVE YOU ARE A GOD SEND AND A TRUE FRIEND ALL LOVE," the tweet said.

West told Forbes in an interview published July 8 that that he was running for president under a new banner — the Birthday Party — and that he no longer supports President Donald Trump. "I am taking the red hat off, with this interview," he said. Forbes spoke to West from his ranch near Cody, Wyoming, in what the magazine described as "four rambling hours of interviews." In the May issue of GQ, West implied that he would be voting for Trump in the November election.

West has been candid about his mental health. He told The New York Times in 2018 while in Jackson, Wyoming, that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 and that over time, he began "learning how to not be on meds." He said proudly, "I took one pill in the last seven days," the Times reported. West also disclosed to the Times that Kardashian West had tried to stage an intervention of sorts in 2017, enlisting the help of motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

Kardashian West has said that there were conflicting assessments from doctors about West's diagnosis. In the May 2019 issue of Vogue, she was quoted as saying that West had accepted the bipolar diagnosis.

"It is an emotional process, for sure. Right now, everything is really calm," she said. "But we can definitely feel episodes coming, and we know how to handle them.

"For him, being on medication is not really an option, because it just changes who he is," she continued. "Traveling a lot does set it off, so he doesn't travel as much as he used to. But honestly, I never want to speak for him, because I am not in his mind."

She also said that she has been unfairly blamed for West's behavior and accused of not helping him.

"But I think some of the hurtful things that I read online . . . . What is she doing? She's not stopping him. . . . Like it's my fault if he does or says something that they don't agree with? That’s my husband. I share every opinion that I have and let him know when I think something's wrong," she said. "Or if it comes to him being in the middle of a bipolar episode, I'll do everything to be supportive and help to calm the situation."

Representatives for West did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.