Kanye West revealed that he has been diagnosed Bipolar at the age of 39. And the rapper says Bipolar isn’t a mental disorder, but rather his “superpower.”
Normally I would just chalk that up to Yeezy being an idiot, but this has to be one of his more irresponsible and dangerous comments. How many kids will be diagnosed with depression or Bipolar Disorder and not take their meds or seek treatment now because Kanye calls it his “superpower?” But, okay, I get it. The creativity I experience during mania is incredible, and yes the meds ruin that, but they also save your life, marriage, jobs, relationships, etc.
The cynic in me wonders: Is coming out as Bipolar trendy right now? ‘Cause when I was diagnosed 25 years ago—back when it was still called “Manic Depression”—this wasn’t something people celebrated. This was talked about in hushed voices because you were “crazy” or a “monster.”
And let me level with you kids, Bipolar Disorder isn’t all antidepressants, clever album covers, and celebratory press conferences, being Bipolar SUCKS. It will crank your personality knob up to twelve, won’t let you sleep for days, and send thoughts racing through your head as you systematically dismantle your life because you just can’t stop. Sure, you may feel bulletproof but you’re really a ticking time bomb. And when you do explode, the Bipolar Disorder will obliterate you so thoroughly that you will no longer wish to exist.
Sound harsh? Maybe. Three suicide attempts later—two that put me in hospital—I’m lucky to still be here and I have no desire to sugarcoat or romanticize my Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder isn’t a friend or a companion. It isn’t a monster or demon lurking inside of me. It is me. It’s just part of who I am. I am a 41 year old guy with Bipolar Disorder Type I. I need treatment, a strong support system, and friends and family who love me enough to pick me up, dust me off, hug me, and send me on my way again.
The moral of the story? Bipolar Disorder isn’t a superpower, Kanye. It’s about the most terrifying thing ever that should not be taken lightly. Talk to your doctor. Take your meds. It’s not a joke. Don’t turn it into one.
Take your meds, Kanye. I take mine.