West attracted a ton of attention and concern in recent days after a flurry of tweets and a tear-filled speech at his presidential rally in South Carolina. West mentioned his children multiple times during his rally and in his tweet storm, and many internet commenters were quick to speculate about West's mental and whether he is capable of parenting right now.
That's why Kim Kardashian West made a statement through Instagram Stories on Wednesday, addressing her husband's mental health for the first time publicly.
"As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar 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," her statement reads. "I've never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye's right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health."
She continues: "Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. 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."
Kardashian West goes on to note that she understands that her husband is a public figure and therefore subject to speculation. She goes on to say that he "is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a [B]lack 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. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions."
In her conclusion, Kardashian West asks for "compassion and empathy" as her family gets though this crisis.
"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 times when they need it the most," she writes.
Kim Kardashian West is right about a lot of things here. A bipolar diagnosis does not make a person incapable of parenting. It does not make them less of a resource to society, or less of a partner. It just means they have a treatable mental health condition.
Right now Kanye West is in pain. That's clear to most people who have seen the footage or read his tweets. We hope that he gets the help he needs—for his sake as well as his family's.
Fellow parent Melissa Guida-Richards once wrote: "Being diagnosed as bipolar helped me realize that my children would not get the best life I could provide until I took care of myself first. It makes me a better mother to see a therapist every week and take medications every day in order to show my children that mental illness is not the end of the world."
We hope that Kanye West can get the help that Guida-Richards did. And we're glad his partner and co-parent is speaking publicly about a common mental health condition that impacts so many families and is treatable. Kanye is still Kanye, and he is still Saint, Chicago, Psalm and North's dad.
For more information on bipolar disorder check out the National Institute of Mental Health.