Kim Kardashian Defends Kanye West in Statement About Mental Health, Asks for 'Compassion and Empathy'

Kim Kardashian has spoken out about husband Kanye West's recent erratic behavior, calling it a symptom of his bipolar disorder, which she said has been "incredibly complicated and painful" to understand. After days of the rapper making statements on Twitter that he was trying to "divorce" his wife after she attempted to "lock [him] up," the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star took to Instagram Stories with a lengthy statement.

"As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder," she began. "Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand." Kardashian said she has never spoken publicly on how her husband's mental health has affected her family because she is "very protective" of their four children and his "right to privacy when it comes to his health." But she decided to speak out "because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health."

"Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor," she continued. "People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try."

Kardashian added that she understands West is "subject to criticism" because he is a public figure whose actions "at times can cause strong opinions and emotions." Calling her husband a "brilliant but complicated person" dealing with the "pressures" of being an artist and a Black man who experienced the "painful loss" of his mother Donda, Kardashian explained that his bipolar disorder heightens that experience.

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"Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times (sic) do not align with his intention," she continued, adding that living with bipolar disorder does not "diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas," no matter how "unobtainable" they may feel. "That is part of his genius and as we have all witness, many of his dreams have come true."

She concluded with a plea for "compassion and empathy" from society, which she said offers "grace" to mental health as a whole, but has a long way to go when addressing individuals who are in a time of crisis. "I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed that so we can get through this," she wrote. "Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye's well being and for your understanding."