Kim Kardashian addresses Kanye West's mental health and asks for 'compassion and empathy' following rapper's tweets

The star speaks for the first time after public appearances and Twitter comments by West that have raised concern

FILE PHOTO: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills during the 92nd Academy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills during the 92nd Academy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Kim Kardashian has asked for people to show compassion and empathy for her rapper husband Kanye West's struggles with bipolar disorder that have led to a series of rambling public remarks on subjects ranging from politics to his marriage.

On Wednesday, Kardashian posted a statement on her Instagram stories. It is her first public comment after weeks of interviews, public appearances and Twitter comments by West that have raised concern about the Grammy-winning singer's mental health.

"As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder," she wrote, calling him a "brilliant but complicated person."

Kardashian did not mention West's stated plan to run for the White House in the November 2020 election. West held a rally in South Carolina at the weekend under his self-styled Birthday Party banner, but has not outlined any coherent political policies.

"Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions," Kardashian wrote.

Kardashian's comments came after another late-night series of tweets from West, including one in which he said he was trying to divorce Kardashian. His tweet was swiftly deleted. The couple married in 2014 and have four children.

Earlier this week, West tweeted that his family was trying to get him committed to a psychiatric institution.

West announced he had bipolar disorder in 2018 and has in the past lamented that he feels medication stifles his creativity. He was in hospital for psychiatric treatment in 2016.

Bipolar disorder is a form of mental illness characterised by unusual mood swings between extreme energy and activity and depression, according to the US National Institute of Mental Health. It can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy.

Kardashian, a cosmetics businesswoman who first found fame on the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, said she and her family were trying to get help for West, and spoke about the stigma and misunderstandings around mental health.

"Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behaviour know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor," she said.

Individuals themselves have to engage in the process of getting help, she said, no matter how hard family and friends try.

"I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this."

Updated: July 23, 2020 02:03 PM

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