Kanye West’s erratic behavior puts spotlight
Entertainment Live: US rapper and apparent presidential candidate Kanye West has in the past opened up about his struggles with bipolar disorder.
But his recent erratic behavior has again called into question his health and treatment.
He launched his election campaign Sunday with a rambling speech that saw him rant incoherently, reveal he had wanted to abort his daughter, and break down in tears. What is the mental illness and why do many creative people seem to get it?
On the one hand, patients experience very high periods known as “mania” when they feel energized, elated and can make reckless decisions. They sometimes also experience delusions.
“They can almost have no inhibitions at all, which means they can spend their life savings in a day,” said Andrew Nierenberg, a psychiatry professor at Harvard.
“They can do something that’s really bad judgment that they wouldn’t ordinarily do, either sexually, or in relationships, or work.”
The other “pole” of the illness is depression: ultra-low episodes that can include inability to feel pleasure and suicidal thoughts.
As a result, diagnoses are typically delayed for years. If a patient has so far only experienced depression, they may be misdiagnosed.
West first revealed his diagnosis on his 2018 album “Ye,” where he called it his “superpower.” Last year, he revealed it caused him paranoid delusions and described being handcuffed during treatment.
Scientists are looking for the genes responsible, and trying to understand how these might affect the parts of the brain that deal with emotion.
For many, but not all patients, “there’s a higher rate of childhood trauma, childhood abuse and neglect,” said Burdick.
The bedrock for treatment is mood stabilizing drugs, and the best of these is still lithium, which has been used since the 1940s.
Anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce an abnormal immune response are being investigated as a treatment, but research is preliminary.
Experts have also started to understand the role that the disruption of “social rhythms” play in bipolar disorder, which has shifted more attention toward therapy.
For instance, the death of a pet can trigger a depression-mania cycle, but when scientists studied such events closely, they realized patients were not driven by grief alone.
“Not only did the person suffer psychologically from that loss, but they used to take the dog out for walks,they got exercise, and it also got them up early in the day so that they had social interactions,” said Sullivan.
“Researchers have asked a group of patients with different diagnoses, ‘If you had a button that you could press tomorrow and make this go away, would you?’ said Burdick.
“And the only group of patients that do not opt, more commonly than not, to press the button, are bipolar patients.”
Dhaka, 22 July (campuslive24.com)//IH