Kanye West Deserves Our Empathy, Not Ridicule, Says Expert
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Kanye West needs to be met with empathy and quiet support rather than criticism and memes, an expert has told Tyla.
The rapper has been making headlines as of late after sharing a series of social media posts about his desire to reunite with Kim Kardashian, his issues with her new boyfriend Pete Davidson, and his fallouts with celebrities like Kid Cudi and Billie Eilish.
Kanye was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, and has since spoken openly about living with the condition - often describing it as a 'superpower' - and about his frequent manic episodes.
Ye's diagnosis was heavily discussed back in 2020, when the music mogul ran for President of the United States and, during a rally, broadcasted the intimate details of his discussions with Kim Kardashian about their daughter North.
Thanks to his social media accounts, fans of West, 44, have previously seen the Stronger rapper go through what appear to be manic episodes in real time - with West making bold claims and accusations, and oversharing details of his personal life.
While the public conversation around mental health has certainly evolved in recent years, a lot of the commentary surrounding Kanye's more recent activity has been dismissive and unsympathetic.
If you log on to Twitter and search 'Kanye West', you won't have to scroll for long before you find the critical commentary, the hateful hashtags, and the viral jokes about Ye's latest social media posts.
Whether it's ridiculing him for his beef with their favourite celebrities, turning his social media posts into jokes and memes, or egging on his behaviour in the comments section, a lot of fans and followers have been responding to West's actions in harmful ways that they might not even realise.
Speaking to Tyla, psychologist Caron Barruw from The Niche Group explained: "The issue with social media and the access of celebrities to constant posting of issues with no boundaries makes it difficult for people to differentiate between attention seeking behaviour, personality types and mental illness.
"As Kanye has always used social media as a platform for his episodes, many people do not understand the condition or the behaviours that occur. Furthermore, there is no monitoring of the constant messaging no matter how abusive they become."
Because of the publicity of it all, it's easy for fans to see Kanye's situation and misunderstand the symptoms and effects of Bipolar.
She continued: "In managing manic episodes they can often appear as someone ‘just going on' and to an average person it may sound like JUST a rant . However, as it is a diagnosis that needs treatment and attention, the ideal initial way of treating it is to talk slowly and quietly to the person."
Additionally, during a manic episode, telling someone with Bipolar Disorder to calm down, arguing with them, adding to the noise, or overstimulating them can make things worse.
Rather than adding to the noise, fighting back, or trying to control someone with Bipolar, Caron Barrew said that the best way to assist someone through a manic episode is through empathy and quiet support.
If someone close to you with Bipolar is experiencing mania, other ways you can help include:
- Assessing that they are not at risk to them selves or someone else
- Ensuring they physically in a safe place
- Assessing whether they need immediate professional help
- Spending quite time with them
- Ensuring they get sleep whenever possible.
For more information and resources on Bipolar Disorder, go to Bipolaruk.org.