Kanye West, the political and the bipolar disorders

Kanye West, la politique et les troubles bipolaires

The american rapper Kanye West, which has held about confused at a meeting for his nomination to the White House, has said publicly that he had bipolar disorder. What is bipolar illness ?

Kanye West has revealed his own diagnosis in 2018 in his album ” Ye “, and he has entrusted to us in the last year that disease caused him to have episodes of paranoid delusions. He said he is a candidate in the us presidential election of November, and was held Sunday, a first public meeting in a confused mingling about on the weapons, faith, slavery, and abortion, during which he broke down in tears.

Bipolar disorders are characterized by alternating phases of mania, when the patients are in a state of excitement psychic high and feel elated, think and speak quickly, and depressive phases.

“They can almost forget any inhibitions, to the point of, for example, spend all their savings in a day “, told AFP Andrew Nierenberg, professor of psychiatry at Harvard. “They can commit great errors of judgment that they would not ordinarily, levels of sexual, relational, or professional.”

In the depressive phase, on the other hand, bipolar people do not find more pleasure in their usual activities and are in a state of suffering.

Up to 3 % of the population may have the disease, which makes it more common than schizophrenia, but more rare than depression.

There are a wide variety of symptoms among patients, ” says Timothy Sullivan, head of the department of psychiatry of Staten Island University Hospital. Some are more depressive than manic, for others it is the reverse.

This explains, in part, that the diagnoses come late, often after six or more years, in particular in people suffering from depression.

Risk factors

The bipolarity is “one of the mental illnesses that are more likely to be inherited,” said Katherine Burdick, a psychologist at Harvard and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

When a parent is diagnosed, the risk is between 10% and 20%, she said.

Scientists are searching for the responsible genes and try to understand how they may affect the part of the brain managing emotions.

Others are looking at possible environmental factors. A lot of patients, but not all, “have suffered childhood traumas, abuse and neglect,” said Katherine Burdick.

Drug abuse is another risk factor.


The standard treatment consists of drugs that regulate mood, the best being lithium, used since the 1940s.

Recently, the experts were interested in the role played by the interruption of “social rhythms” of the people. For example, the death of a pet can trigger a cycle manic-depressive, but the scientists found that this was not only the grief that was affecting the sick.

“Not only does the person has suffered psychologically from the loss, but before that, they were walking the dog, they were doing the sport with, the dog was getting up early and gives them social interactions,” said Timothy Sullivan.

The higher susceptibility of individuals with bipolar disorders to social disturbances, may make them more vulnerable during the pandemic, and the containment. This is the case of a former patient of dr. Sullivan, who was contacted during the outbreak after 10 years of stability.

Creative link ?

The artists are over-represented among people with bipolar disorder, a topic described in the book ” Touched with Fire “. The painter Vincent Van Gogh may have had the disease.

“Creative people are distinguished by a very special way of thinking, which goes through intense emotional experiences,” says Timothy Sullivan. “It is possible that this sensitivity implies that the regulatory systems of the brain, which makes them more vulnerable to mood disorders “.

Some patients see their disorders as an asset, even if this can cost to the family.

In one experiment, researchers asked patients with various diseases if they would like to be able to do away with them by pressing a button, tells Katherine Burdick.

Result : “the only group of patients who in majority did not rely on the button is the group of patients with bipolar disorder “.

Kanye West has referred to it as his ” super power “.

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