Kanye West Describes Being Handcuffed as He Opens up about Bipolar Disorder

Manuela Cardiga
May 29, 2019
05:37 A.M.

Kanye West revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 38 and explained what happens when he has an "episode."


Kanye West opened up to David Letterman about his mental health issues and how he coped with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The star is determined to share his experience and to help others by shattering the stigma attached to mental health issues such as bipolar disorder.


“When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything. Everyone — this is my experience, other people have different experiences — everyone now is an actor. (...) You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone,”” Kanye West


West had what was described as a "breakdown" in 2016, and was committed to the UCLA Medical Center with hallucinations and paranoia.

The singer spoke about the treatment he was submitted to, and the hard road back to stability after his diagnosis.


Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels.


West revealed that he was handcuffed, and kept apart from his loved ones during the initial hours of his treatment, and labeled the practice as "cruel and primitive."

“They have this moment where they put you — they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know,” West said.



West explained that bipolarity is a health issue, and unfairly discriminated against.

“It’s a health issue that has a strong stigma on it and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way. This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more,” West said.


West revealed that he has to take medication every day to keep himself in balance.

“If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital." West said.


West is just one of a list of celebrities who have admitted to suffering from bipolar disorder, in the hopes of helping fellow sufferers.

The list includes Mariah Carrey, Mel Gibson, Demi Lovato, Ted Turner, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Mental health/ Source: Pexels

Mental health/ Source: Pexels


In recent years, more and more people have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the stigma and the incomprehension surrounding the condition persists.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels.

Sufferers can plunge from elated and highly energetic states into the deepest depression.

These radical changes in mood are devastating both to the sufferer and to their loved ones.

Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder can be treated with medication, and sufferers can live highly successful and fulfilling lives.

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