In an extended statement on Wednesday, Kim Kardashian shared a statement in response to the news coverage surrounding recent comments made by husband Kanye West.

"As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder," Kim said. "Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye's right to privacy when it comes to his health."

Kardashian said she was moved to make a public statement at this time due to the continued "stigma and misconceptions" that surround discussions of mental health, whether those discussions are centered on West or are more generalized. She also said that those who "understand mental illness" know that a family "is powerless unless the member is a minor," adding that people who lack awareness and/or are "far removed" from such experiences can tend to view this facet of mental health from a "judgmental" perspective. 

"We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however, we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most," Kardashian added. "I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this." She also thanked those who have expressed concern for her husband's well-being in recent days.

Read Kim's full statement, originally shared via her Instagram Story, below:

As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health. 

Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.

I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions. He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a Black man, who experimented the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bipolar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.

Living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.

We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however, we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most. I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this. Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye’s well-being and for your understanding.

With love and gratitude, 

Kim Kardashian West

Kardashian's statement was preceded by comments from West in recent days that have inspired both public condemnation and expressions of concern from fans and other artists. Recklessly, West's comments were also widely amplified across the news cycle, often without appropriate context and/or from a perspective that could arguably be described as merely gawking at an artist's personal turmoil as if it were crafted to be consumed as further entertainment.

Bipolar disorder, even among nominally more open mental health discussions in 2020, remains the subject of mischaracterizations. Additionally, it’s still not uncommon to see people using the disorder as an offensive colloquialism. Do better.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, and/or if this recent news cycle has become triggering, help is available

For info on the myths and facts about bipolar disorder, of which there is more than one type despite many using the term as a catch-all, click here.

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