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Thu Oct 11, 2018, 06:38 PM

A long and complex observation about Kanye.

Two things: First, I truly liked Kanye's work in the past. Late Registration and College Dropout were-and I don't use this term lightly-brilliant. Second, I was a psychotherapist and analyst for nearly twenty years. I have loved many a patient with serious mental health issues and considered it an honor to be trusted and welcomed into their worlds. And I've seldom seen worse potential suffering than what I saw today.

Mental health is a very complex thing. There are multiple interrelated parts that consist of the neurological network one is born with, the one that, for whatever reason, develops over time, and the environment they develop within and that affects how they manifest. So there's the Axis I diagnosis and then there's the person who carries the diagnosis, who has been and continues to be shaped by the people, the situations, the sensory inputs, the things they experience and consume, and the patterns they make of them that in turn make them into the personalities they are.

Kanye says he has been diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder. If ever I believed a diagnosis I believe that one. Bipolar I (and Bipolar II differs considerably and I won't go into that) on its manic end is a storm in the brain. If you think of it as a sine wave, there is a median and the highs and lows cycle above and below that median. The median can be higher or lower and the cycles can be bigger or smaller. Peoples' medians vary and the heights and depths of the swings vary between people and over a lifetime and courses of treatment within the same person. Therapy can help the person, but not the swings. That requires medication.

When You're in a serious manic swing you feel incredible, up to a point. You see and convey connections among things that actually do make a kind of sense. I used to have a marvelous patient who could talk for an hour about how, when he hit a baseball, the energy began beneath his feet, travelled up through his legs and became the energy of his muscles which traveled through the bat and jumped in an arc to the ball, which then carried it through the air displacing molecules and impacting the energy of everything around it. He was in a state of ecstasy that most of you can recognize is actually grounded in fact, right up until it tripped over into a hallucinogenic state and he believed he could influence something like the weather or which way a car on the street would turn via that baseball's trajectory. Or that he could fly if he jumped off a bridge.

And let me tell you, that shit's contagious. More than once after sitting with a patient in a manic swing I'd go to a colleague to get talked down, not because I had thought issues-I knew what was what- but because I was high as a kite, overly excited, jittery, impulsive, and I didn't want to see another patient until it had worn off.

45 is an emotion vampire. You see it in the rallies. He loves that high and he rides it. His own associations get weird and he feeds it back to them until they're all high as kites, screaming for blood and laughing hysterically at actually very pedestrian schtick. Watch him with Kanye. He had even poorer than usual judgment in encouraging Kanye (I'm assuming he wanted a show of unity with a black man whose excited adoration he perhaps believes he actually deserves) but he is loving every minute of the high.

And here's what I hate. He is doing to Kanye today exactly what that man does not need. He is putting that mania on display for others to be entertained by, to laugh at, to discuss and fight over just as I'm doing now. He is encouraging mania to a degree that is very, very dangerous in the guise of reaching out. He's playing with fire and loving it because he is protected.

That is how manic people die. It's how they, without meaning to in any way that we who are not in that state can understand, get themselves and others into terrible, terrible trouble. I understand what Kanye said metaphorically about that other universe in which he could be in prison. But in his flights of thought he becomes Superman, he creates a hydrogen powered plane, he becomes the conduit between Colin Kaepernick and 45 and creates World Peace. He doesn't believe people are laughing and dismissing him. And the vampire just sits listening to him, grinning at the spectators, loving the high and, I think, planning how he can now use Kanye in a speech or a claim, while he throws the actual man away as he does everyone when they don't serve a purpose. I feel bad for Kanye. He doesn't deserve this.

Yes, he's a jackass. That personality seems narcissistic and overblown at the best of times. But that storm in his brain is what you see when he does what he did today, and that bit of brilliance and the whole lot of power that being famous gets you means he is encouraged to swing further and further so those around him can benefit. As many have said, when his mother died he lost a centering object.

Kanye and the rest of them will have to work things out however they do. Sometimes it turns out okay but often it does not. But that emotion vampire behind the desk in the Oval Office? What he did today was egregious beyond all forgiving and dangerous as hell for Kanye, and really Kanye only. It disgusts me, and it makes me sad.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply A long and complex observation about Kanye. (Original post)
nolabear Oct 11 OP
DemocratSinceBirth Oct 11 #1
nolabear Oct 11 #2
Wellstone ruled Oct 11 #3
renate Oct 11 #4
OneGrassRoot Oct 11 #7
nolabear Oct 11 #8
JohnnyLib2 Oct 11 #5
nolabear Oct 11 #9
SallyHemmings Oct 11 #6
kwassa Oct 11 #10
nolabear Oct 11 #12
MariaCSR Oct 11 #11
nolabear Oct 11 #13

Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 06:42 PM

1. Kayne is emotionally unbalanced and Trump exploited him.

Last edited Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:01 PM - Edit history (1)

I would love for Trump to take the MMPI. I assume he would score highly on the sociopathy scale.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:00 PM

2. You said it so succinctly. 😄

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:13 PM

3. Well well,looks like we are about to see

a all White Christian Army.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:17 PM

4. That was illuminating as well as compassionate

Thank you for taking the time to spell all that out for us.

Do you think the people around Kanye might be trying to get him help but, while he’s feeling manic and like Superman, he doesn’t want it?

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Response to renate (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:23 PM

7. I second this thank you. n/t

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Response to renate (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:32 PM

8. No way to know. I hope so.

I think the whole Kardashian thing is weird but they’ve been married a long time by reality TV standards and have three kids. It would be nice to think they’d try to have his best interest at heart. It’s notoriously hard to keep bipolar patients on meds though.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:19 PM

5. Best explanation possible of that episode.


Thank you. I wish these observations could be shared more widely. Did you see the later article that Kanye had gone to an Apple following this appearance, stood on a table and made more pronouncements? The crash may be soon and disastrous....

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Response to JohnnyLib2 (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:34 PM

9. I saw that. Seems pointless in the grand scheme.

Which makes it worrisome.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:22 PM

6. Thoughtful & Compassionate

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:01 PM

10. And don't manics love their mania?

I also kept thinking about Trump's own mental illness. He and Kanye share the traits of egomania, and are both undereducated men as well. They believe themselves authorities where they have none. And neither can ever get enough attention. The similarities struck me today.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:46 PM

12. Up to a point. When it becomes hypermania it leaves the realm of fun.

That’s one reason med compliance is rocky. The hope of controlling it is so compelling. But if it goes too far you don’t sleep, your thoughts get disordered, and it can be far more what we’d call crazy than high. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

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Response to nolabear (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:16 PM

11. Dr. Oz was on Wendy Williams this morning

 

Talking about Kanye. He said that many bipolar people don't like to take meds because it dulls their creativity. That could be what's happening with him now.

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Response to MariaCSR (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:48 PM

13. I expect so. The guy I cited was brilliantly creative.

And had he been able to find that elusive point he might well have been quite well known. But as far as I know it kept him from being able to use those gifts. Miserable stuff.

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