Kanye West opens up about 'paranoia' of bipolar disorder: 'You feel everyone wants to kill you'

‘You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things’

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 29 May 2019 09:12 BST

Kanye West has spoken about feeling “hyper-paranoid” due to his bipolar disorder diagnosis, saying that everything can feel as though it’s a “conspiracy”.

The rapper opened up about his mental health issues in a new interview with David Letterman, for the second series of the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.

In the interview, which will air on Friday 31 May, West detailed his experiences of "ramping up" due to his mental health condition, saying that doing so can make him feel better able to express his personality.

“What I want to say about the bipolar thing is because it has the word ‘bi’ in it, it has the idea of, like, split personality. Well, that works for me because I’m a Gemini, but when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” he said.

“You can become almost more adolescent in your expression,” the musician stated, adding that being in this state can also lead to him feeling “hyper-paranoid” about his surroundings.

While West acknowledged that people with bipolar disorder have different experiences, he added that, in his experience, everything can feel like "a conspiracy".

“You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things," he stated.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition which can lead to extreme mood swings, the NHS explains.

Symptoms can include periods depression and phases of mania.

West added that it can reach the point where he feels that “everyone wants to kill you”, adding : “You pretty much don’t trust anyone”.

“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,” the rapper said.

“That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment.”

West revealed the impact not taking prescribed medication for a mental health condition can have on one’s state of mind.

“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 a hospital,” the 41-year-old said.

“And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it," he stated, referencing the US tabloid news website.

West went on to discuss the “stigma of crazy” that surrounds mental health issues, comparing suffering from a mental health issue to having a “sprained brain”.

“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,” he stated.

West first opened up about his “mental condition” when promoting his new album Ye in June 2018, describing his bipolar disorder as a “superpower” in song “Yikes”.

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Later that year, the 21-time Grammy Award winner revealed while speaking with US president Donald Trump that his initial bipolar diagnosis had not been accurate.

According to West, a doctor had informed him that he was actually suffering from sleep deprivation.

However, in a recent interview with Vogue, West's wife Kim Kardashian-West said that he had once again accepted his bipolar diagnosis amid conflicting assessments from medical professionals.

“I think we’re in a pretty good place with it now,” the reality star and entrepreneur said.

You contact the Mind helpline by calling 0300 123 3393, emailing info@mind.org.uk or texting 86463. The helpline is open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday except on bank holidays.

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