The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Kim Kardashian addresses Kanye West’s mental health, asks for ‘compassion and empathy’

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in February. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Kim Kardashian West issued a statement Wednesday morning requesting “compassion and empathy” from the public following weeks of worrisome behavior from her husband, Kanye West.

“We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole,” she wrote, “however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it most.”

West, who announced on the Fourth of July that he intended to run for president, held a campaign rally in North Charleston, S.C., on Sunday, during which he spoke ill of abolitionist Harriet Tubman and revealed he and Kardashian had seriously considered terminating their first pregnancy. For the following two nights, West sent — and, in most cases, deleted — tweets detailing a strained relationship with his family. At one point, he claimed the horror film “Get Out” was based on him. He also stated that Kardashian tried to get him medical attention and, later on, claimed he has been trying to divorce her.

The Kardashian-Jenners have mostly remained silent amid reports that they are concerned about West being in the midst of a manic episode brought on by his bipolar disorder. But Kardashian’s statement, posted in several slides on her Instagram story, explicitly addressed her husband’s mental health and well-being.

“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions,” she wrote. “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 … has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder.”

Kardashian, seemingly responding to criticism directed at her, added that family members are essentially “powerless” in the process of getting help for loved ones who aren’t minors.

Both Kardashian and West have publicly spoken about the latter’s mental health before. West discussed his diagnosis and 2016 hospitalization for a “psychiatric emergency” in an episode of David Letterman’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” released in May 2019: “I ramp up, and I go high,” West said. In that same month’s Vogue cover story, Kardashian commented on the “hurtful things that I read online” regarding West and how she responds to his scrutinized behavior.

“Like it’s my fault if he does or says something that they don’t agree with?” she said. “That’s my husband. I share every opinion that I have and let him know when I think something’s wrong. 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.”

Read more:

‘I do not want to take Kanye West seriously. But I know that we have to.’