- Kanye West spoke candidly about his mental health in an interview with David Letterman for the new season of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” on Netflix.
- He told Letterman what it’s really like to experience a manic episode.
- West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago, and spoke about it in his album “Ye,” where he called it his “superpower.”
- “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,” West said in the Netflix show, which debuts on May 31. “And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
In Kanye West’s album “Ye,” he revealed his bipolar diagnosis and said it was his “superpower.”
Now, in a new interview with David Letterman for an the upcoming season of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” he has opened up more about what it’s really like to have a manic episode.
“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,” West said on the Netflix talk show, which debuts on May 31. “And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it.”
West was referencing the time he appeared at the publication’s headquarters and made some controversial comments, including a suggestion that slavery was a choice.
According to E! Online, in the new interview West said he wanted to discuss his bipolar diagnosis, and how he feels a bit like he has a split personality.
“Well, that works for me because I’m a Gemini, but when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” he said. “You can become almost more adolescent in your expression or border into places. This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now.”
He added that a hundred years ago, people would be locked in a room for having a manic episode.
“When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything. Everyone,” he said. “This is my experience – some people have other experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything is a conspiracy. You see everything. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all of these things.”
He added that the paranoia gets so bad it feels like “everyone wants to kill you.”
“You pretty much don’t trust anyone,” he said. “And 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.”
Read more: This is what it’s like to be bipolar
Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million people worldwide. It’s characterised by fluctuating states of manic highs and depressive lows, and there are two types: bipolar 1 and bipolar 2.
Joseph F. Goldberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told INSIDER in a previous article: “In bipolar 1 disorder the high periods cause trouble, and about half the time may involve psychosis – delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (false perceptions).”
With bipolar 2 disorder, the highs are milder intensity, and don’t involve psychosis. But people with either type of bipolar disorder experience periods of feeling paranoid, jittery, and highly energetic.
During a manic episode, people can exhibit some strange behaviour – like creating religious shrines and thinking the world is going to end – so bipolar can be a difficult disorder to comprehend.
West said he felt the stigma of being labelled “crazy,” and added that people “love to write you off.”
“They love to cut your sentences off halfway,” he said. “What you say doesn’t mean as much.”
West also acknowledged that part of his creativity may come from his mental health issues.
“That’s just the reality,” he said. “If you want these crazy ideas and these crazy stages, this crazy music, and this crazy way of thinking, there’s a chance it might come from a crazy person.”
If you or someone close to you is living with bipolar disorder, you can call the Samaritans for help on 116 123, or visit the website.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.