By Radio.com Staff
“Kanye West seems to be suffering from a significant mental health problem,” according to Dr. Drew Pinksy.
The addiction medicine physician weighed in on West’s condition this morning (Dec. 1) during his weekly radio segment with KROQ’s Kevin & Bean Show.
After praising the hip hop icon for staying in the hospital as long as he did (ten days), Pinsky stressed that “Someone who stays in the hospital more three days is in the throes of a very serious psychiatric problem.” Pinsky admitted that he has had no personal contact with West, and has no first hand knowledge of the incident that got West admitted to the hospital, but the fact that the rapper had to be physically restrained led him to believe that West is suffering from a “manic psychosis.” Pinsky was quick to point out that in Wests’s age group, that is rather unusual. “Usually bi-polar mania, if it’s going to be that severe, comes on in the early adulthood years, but if you add in, later in your 30s or 40s, things like sleeping medication or anti-depressants you could precipitate a manic episode in someone who might not have otherwise become truly manic.”
He surmised that, after West’s grueling tour schedule, someone may have given West some sleeping medication, which would be appropriate. “Maybe coming on and off that and maybe some other medicines can really get bi-polar roaring into a manic state,” explains Pinsky.
“Once you’re in that situation, you’re paranoid, you’re irritable, your thoughts are derailed, you’re grandiose—and the very thing—you say ‘It’s Kanye being Kanye’—the very thing that may have made him so successful, his sense of specialness and expansiveness… when it’s under control can be a source of great expression and artistic inspiration, becomes a real serious medical crisis.”
“I was a few feet away from him during the the MTV Video Music Awards two years ago,” recalls Pinsky. “My wife was poking me going, ‘He’s manic, you gotta get him off the stage. This is very uncomfortable.'”
Bean noted that, “The tide seems to have turned for celebrities and mental illness where it used to just be, ‘Hey let’s make fun of that person because they’re going through a bad patch,’ and now I feel like—and you saw this with the Kid Cudi situation—now I feel like people are really rooting for Kanye, because they realize this is serious an this is real.”
Dr. Pinsky agreed. “That’s right. We’re finally having mature conversations about illnesses of the brain. You know, we used to hide cancer and infectious diseases too, and those have been brought out into the light. And now it’s time to bring brain diseases out into the light. It shouldn’t be treated differently than illnesses of the heart or pancreas.”
Kanye had an erratic string of concerts where he wouldn’t perform or went into long rants about Beyonce, Jay Z and Donald Trump, and although he seemed disturbed, most chalked it up to “Kanye just being Kanye.” But after prematurely ending a concert in Sacramento on November 21, he was taken into medical care. He subsequently canceled his remaining 21 tour dates. West was released from the hospital yesterday (Nov. 30).
Dr. Drew Pinsky appears every Thursday on The Kevin & Bean Show. Listen to the full interview here.