‘It’s like a sprained brain’ – Kanye West talks mental health struggles in Netflix show

American rapper Kanye West, who is married to reality tv star and businesswoman, Kim Kardashian is on a quest to raise awareness against the stigmatisation of people with mental health issues.

Kanye’s latest effort saw him open up David Letterman in Letterman’s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

In a clip of the episode, which is set to drop today, Letterman asks West: “What is the mechanism that is malfunctioning or is taking a break in your brain, do you know?”

West replies he wouldn’t be able to explain. He just knows and can only describe what he feels at the time of an episode.

I wouldn’t be able to explain that as much just because, you know, I’m not a doctor,” Kanye says. “I can just tell you what I’m feeling at the time, and I feel a heightened connection with the universe when I’m ramping up. It is a health issue.

This — it’s like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more.

With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse. You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone.

When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything, everyone. This is my experience, other people have different experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things.

West recounted being diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago and described his experience with an involuntary psychiatric hold in 2016. Further explaining his experience, he says:

They have this moment where they put you, they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know. That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment.

Kanye first shared his bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2018 on his album, ‘Ye’. He referenced taking medication to treat his condition in his conversation with Letterman. “If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital. And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it,” he says in reference to his impromptu visit to the celebrity gossip website’s headquarters, which sparked headlines.

West told Letterman he’s choosing to speak about his diagnosis because of a “strong stigma” around mental health.

People are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way,” Kanye tells the host. He also shared he is under a doctor’s care, that he uses alternative treatment methods, but he thinks medication may work with others with bipolar disorder.

Fans had speculated about his condition for years, particularly after he was hospitalised for a “psychiatric emergency” in November 2016 just after cancelling his Saint Pablo tour.

Kanye seemingly confirmed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018 with the release of Ye. In April, his wife, Kim, also confirmed his diagnosis in an interview with Vogue, saying the couple had reached a “pretty good place” with his mental health. “It is an emotional process, for sure,” the 38-year-old reality mogul told Vogue.“Right now everything is really calm. But we can definitely feel episodes coming, and we know how to handle them.”

Kanye took steps towards normalising mental health issues with the release of his latest album cover which read, I Hate Being Bipolar. It’s Awesome.





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