Why Kanye West’s Mental Health Matters and Can’t be Ignored
After reviewing an endless list of headlines and listened to hours of media coverage on Kanye West, what no one seemed to speak on is Kanye West’s mental health. Kanye himself admitted while speaking to TMZ that he was taking medication for his opioid addiction stemming from the after affects of him having liposuction. The medication he was ordered to take somewhere around 2 to 3 times a day he takes a few times a week. Proper media coverage would state that Kanye was having a mental episode first and foremost then go on to list what he said while having his episode. Anything aside from that is completely disingenuous and while the internet is praising TMZ’s Van Lathan for allegedly putting him in his place on race relations, if you see someone having an episode, why even have a serious debate and get in your feelings with a person perceived as unstable? Also, the breakdown he had last year can’t be ignored either.
Opioids are a problem in America and stem largely from their use in post operative pain regulation following plastic surgery. Given the high amount of plastic surgery in both Hollywood and America as a whole, it’s no surprise as to how we got here. There’s a reason you have stars like Lisa Rinna and Erika Jayne of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills bragging about their pill bags they carry around with them. After having a certain level of work done, it does become a way of life. Over 2 millions Americans currently abuse opioids while the opioid overdose death rate has increased 200% since 2000 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors are now looking at other alternatives to opioids to handle pain management. That is what needs to be discussed and not the parsing of statements from someone suffering from the after affects of opioids.
Kanye also stated that he wanted to destigmatize mental health. That is an important and powerful statement as mental health treatment is something that gets looked down upon in black America leaving many to suffer without ever seeking help. The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans says African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Also only 25% of African Americans seek mental health treatment compared to 40% of whites.
In conclusion, Kanye has stated he has a problem, has sought treatment for it although he has admitted to not following doctor’s orders completely. That should be the center of this conversation first before dissecting statements made as a result of these things.
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