Kanye West

Music producer Kanye West confirmed his bipolar diagnosis in a track on his new album, YE, which dropped Friday morning. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by wild mood swings, mania, depression and suicidal thoughts.

On, “I Thought About Killing You”, Kanye raps about murder-suicide and narcissism: “I love myself way more than I love you and I think about killing myself/ So best believe I thought about killing you today”.

Millions of people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic depression or manic-depressive disorder). The condition affects males and females equally.

Patients can be very moody then experience periods of elevated mood with little control over their manic behavior. When in an elevated mood, sufferers experience racing thoughts, are energetic, forget to eat, abuse drugs and alcohol, and get very little sleep.

Kanye’s friends describe all-night texting sessions with the rapper bouncing ideas and lyrics at them for hours.

Manic episodes vary in duration and intensity. Hospitalization is usually required when a patient experiences a prolonged manic episode.

One out of two people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once during their lifetime.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder

The cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. Environmental and genetic factors may play a role. Other conditions commonly linked with bipolar disorder include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, schizophrenia and substance use.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Mania (elevated mood, extreme excitement)
  • Depression
  • Short attention span
  • Rapid speech
  • Hypomania
  • Impulsivity
  • Excessive spending
  • Low libido (in depressive mood)
  • Hypersexual (in manic mood)
  • Insomnia
  • Memory lapses
  • Poor judgment
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Delusional thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse


    Treatment includes medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics as well as psychotherapy. The standard medicine for longtime stabilization of bipolar disorder is Lithium. Most patients are forced into treatment after experiencing a life-threatening episode.

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