Mental Illness Take Its Toll on Kanye West
December 13, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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Saturday, November 19, 2016, rapper, Kanye West ended his Sacramento, California show early, only moments after erupting into a rant, attacking various social media sites and celebrities. West’s ‘Saint Pablo’ Tour began on August 25, 2016, and came to an abrupt close on November 20, 2016, when he canceled the remainder of the tour, giving no public explanation for the decision.
Despite being refunded their money, fans of West who had already purchased tickets to the remaining shows were outraged, many of which took to social media to express their anger of not being able to see the lyricist live in concert. Being a fan of West myself, I can understand the frustration in his tour cancellation.
However, what struck many as the most devastating, are his strongly voiced opinions on the world around him. Nights before ending his Sacramento show early, West stated that although he did not vote, he supports United States President Elect, Donald Trump. Following this night, West proceeded to verbally attack former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. He even went as far as speaking out against highly idolized celebrity couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce, claiming that Beyonce did not play fair in winning MTV’s Video of the Year award.
Although West has a history of being rather blunt and vocal of his thoughts and opinions, following West’s public rants, many celebrities have expressed their thoughts and concerns of his current mental state. Talk show hosts such as Wendy Williams, of The Wendy Williams Show, and Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, and Loni Love, all of The Real Daytime, publicly shared their opinions of West’s comments and how they feel about his health. Bailon-Houghten was essentially upset over not being able to see West’s New Year’s Eve show.
“I’ve been a fan of Kayne since College Drop Out days,” stated Bailon-Houghten. “He is ridiculously talented, and we can’t take that away from him.”
Months prior, the world of social media experienced a similar episode from rapper, Kid Cudi, who alleged he felt abandoned by West. Days later, however, Kid Cudi checked himself into a rehabilitation center.
Many have linked West’s current mental state to the death of his mother, several years ago, as well as the large amount of time he spends away from his family due to his heavy work schedule. Regardless of the cause, West’s recent outburst open doors for a necessary realization – mental health is real and present in the lives of many of the people around us.
Reports state that after the cancellation of West’s tour, he was hospitalized and placed under psychiatric examination. It is important to remember that the presence of mental health issues does not make anyone “crazy.” Calling a person who struggles with an internal conflict or mental illness “crazy,” is highly disrespectful, and more importantly, it is dismissive. A person battling a mental illness is human in the same way that we all are. For this exact reason, many people, both young and old, very often choose not to come forth when feeling uneasy about their mental state. There is a strong fear of what people will say and think.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 21.4 percent of youth, ages 13-18 will experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, while the same reigns true for 13 percent of children aged 8–15. This same organization states that in the U.S., one in five adults, equivalent to 43.8 million people, experience mental illness in a given year.
Being only 18 years old and someone who has dealt with different accounts of anxiety and depression, as well as witnessed family members and close friends experience mental illness, my heart goes out to West and all of those around me, who face these struggles daily.
Seeking help for mental illness, no matter who you seek it through, is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of unfathomed strength. It is important to seek assistance when experiencing symptoms of any type of mental illness, whether that be depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder.
I will not judge you. I will not call you crazy. I will not be dismissive of the fact that what you are experiencing is real and present. Continue seeking the help you need, and always remember, you are never alone in your struggle.