Kim Kardashian says family is ‘powerless’ in husband Kanye West’s bipolar struggle

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
(Francois Mori / Associated Press)

Kim Kardashian is asking for compassion and empathy as her husband, rap mogul Kanye West, and their family deal with his recent behavioral outbursts that have called his mental health into question.

West, 43, accused the E! reality star of trying to lock him up this week after he criticized her at a campaign rally and in a flurry of tweets on Monday. Kardashian took to Instagram Stories on Wednesday morning to remind followers that West has bipolar disorder, a lifelong mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows.

Though West has publicly refuted his diagnosis, Kardashian asked people to be sensitive to those who struggle with mental health issues.


Amid confusion about his presidential bid and news of his next album, Kanye West had a visit with comedian Dave Chappelle in Wyoming on Tuesday.

July 21, 2020

“Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand,” Kardashian said in her statement.

“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,” she added. “But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”

The mother of four, who has been married to West since 2014, said that those who understand mental illness or compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the person with the illness is a minor. She reminded people that an individual has to “engage in the process of getting help.”

Her candid comments come amid renewed scrutiny of the Grammy-winning rapper after he announced he was running for president on July 4. A sprawling Forbes interview about his platform followed, as well as a heated campaign event in South Carolina where he claimed in part that Harriet Tubman did not actually free any slaves and said that when Kardashian, then his girlfriend, was pregnant with their first child, daughter North, he initially wanted her to get an abortion.

That was promptly coupled with a tweet storm in which he accused his wife of trying to fly to their Wyoming ranch with a doctor “to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday.” In a since-deleted tweet, West claimed that Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, wanted to put out a statement on the matter without his approval.

“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions,” Kardashian’s statement continued. “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, and 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.”


The rap star was hospitalized in 2016. In a 2018 visit to the White House, he told President Trump that he had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and was simply sleep deprived.

Rapper Kanye West laid out his plans for a presidential run in a sprawling Forbes interview that touched on Trump, Biden and “Black Panther.”

July 8, 2020

The beauty mogul did not specifically address West’s political ambitions or his new album, “Donda” (named after his mother), which he’s expected to release this week. But Kardashian did speak about West’s other lofty aspirations generally.

“Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true,” she said.

“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 most,” she added, asking the media and public to give them “compassion and empathy.”

West’s fans believe that he is a victim of the so-called Kardashian machine — an often-overbearing lifestyle their reality show and fame demand of those in their orbit.