Kanye West Says He Was Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

By Beth Leipholtz 10/16/18

The rapper discussed the misdiagnosis during his highly publicized sit-down with President Donald Trump.

Kanye West
Photo via YouTube

In a recent conversation with President Trump, rapper Kanye West expressed that he believes his diagnosis of bipolar disorder was a mistake and he was actually suffering from sleep deprivation.

According to The News-Herald, West met with President Trump on Thursday, October 11, and discussed the importance of communication when it comes to mental health. 

"What I think is we don't need sentences, we need pardons,” he told the president, according to The News-Herald. “We need to talk to people. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was connected with a neuropsychologist that works with the athletes in the NBA and NFL. He looked at my brain. I wasn't actually bipolar, I had sleep deprivation which can cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now when I wouldn't even remember my son's name."

In a previous interview, West discussed his diagnosis and said he was happy to know he had bipolar disorder. 

"I think it's important for us to have open conversations about mental health—especially with me being black,” West said. “Because we never had therapists in the black community. We never approached taking a medication. I think it's good that when I had my first complete blackout at age five, my mom didn't fully medicate me. Because I might have never been Ye. And there's times where at least I'm happy that I know [I'm bipolar]. Like, even like for this interview, I knew I wanted to stay in a calm state."

West has also worked his mental health diagnosis into his songs. In a song called “Yikes” on his album Ye, West sings, “ain’t no disability, I’m a superhero.” 

According to Time, West also told radio personality Big Boy that he is grateful to have the resources he does.

“I’m so blessed and so privileged because think about people that have issues that are not Kanye West, that can’t go and make that [music] and make you feel like it’s all good,” he stated. “I’d never been diagnosed and I was like 39 years old… That’s why I said on the album, ‘It’s not a disability, it’s a super power.’”

The rapper has also struggled with substance use disorder. On an episode of TMZ Live, West discussed his battle with pain pills after having liposuction. 

“I was drugged the f— out,” he stated. “I was drugged out. I was on opioids. Two days after I got off opioids, I’m in the hospital. Two days before going to the hospital, I was on opioids. I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y’all.”

In another interview, this one with radio personality Charlamagne tha God, West explained that he uses anyone he speaks to as his therapist. 

“I use the world as my therapist. Anyone I talk to is my therapist,” he said. “I will pull them into the conversation of what I’m feeling at that point and get their perspective… I like just talking to acquaintances, friends, family, and I keep them on the phone for 45 minutes at a time, talking through things. It’s kind of narcissistic.”

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.