Love him, hate him, remember him for his talent, remember him for his big mouth, today I want to celebrate my man Kanye West.
(Yes, I know he said slavery was a choice)
Kanye is using his voice as one of the most famous rappers of today to talk about HIS MENTAL HEALTH! His!! A male!! Because males have mental illnesses too!!!!!
I saw a random Facebook post the other day about Men’s Health Month, which is apparently this month, the month of June. Who knew.
You know what your health includes? Your MENTAL HEALTH!
Here are some stats from Mental Health America:
- “Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year. Male depression often goes undiagnosed.”
- “2.3 million Americans are affected by bipolardisorder. An equal amount of men and women develop the illness.”
- “Approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with schizophrenia…ninety percent of people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 30 are men.”
- “Males account for an estimated 10% of patients with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35% of those with binge-eating disorder.”
- “Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death among males.”
Mental illness is difficult to talk about for everyone. It took me 7 years of symptoms to talk. But for men, it can be even more difficult. Social norms of masculinity, years of bottling up emotions, little support from friends and family, reluctance to talk, etc. etc. etc. Stats about male vs. female mental health are likely skewed because men go undiagnosed, untreated, unnoticed.
On June 1st, the first day of Men’s Health Month, Kanye released his newest album “ye”, using the photo above as his album cover. This is a quote I’ve come across exactly one million times whilst wishing my day away reading bipolar memes, but it still makes me laugh. It’s just too accurate. Kanye apparently took the photo used in the cover with his phone, so that’s cool too. I use my own photos for all of my blog covers (besides this one, but anyways), so Kanye and I have a thing going on together for sure.
I wrote down exactly 45 lines from his album that made me feel some type of way, but I can’t imagine anyone would read through all of them, so here is my favorite one from each song (excluding “All Mine” because, well, if you know you know):
From “I Thought About Killing You”:
“Today I seriously thought about killing you
I contemplated, premeditated murder
And I think about killing myself
And I love myself way more than I love you, so”
Kanye admitting his struggle with suicide may be the thing that saved his life.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline (yes, I know I share this all the time, but still relevant): 1-800-273-8255
“Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too
Ima pray for him because he got #MeToo’ed”
Leaving this here: https://www.google.com/?client=safari&channel=mac_bm
From “Wouldn’t Leave”:
“You know I’m sensitive, I got a gentle mental
Every time somethin’ happen, they want me sent to mental”
From “No Mistakes”:
“I had debt on my books, it’s been a shaky-ass year”
Both of these are talking about his “mental” hospitalization. Debt? Me too man, me too.
Outro of “Ghost Town” by Shake:
“And nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free
We’re still the kids we used to be, yeah yeah
I put my hand on a stove, to see if I still bleed”
From the chorus of “Violent Crimes” by Shake:
“It was all part of the story, even the scary nights”
From “Yikes” (okay I lied about only using one line per song):
“That’s my bipolar s*** n**** what?
That’s my superpower, n**** ain’t no disability
I’m a superhero! I’m a superhero!”
I left this quote for last because it is probably (definitely) the most controversial line in the album. I would loveeeeeee to hear what my people with and without a mental illness think about it. I personally am all about Kanye using his disorder to spread awareness and finding meaning in it. When I was at my lowest point, forcibly admitted into my second psychiatric hospital in one month, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I needed to find some reason for my mental illness. I think I found my reason for my disorder in writing and speaking about it. And figuring that out helped me (almost) as much as any hospital or diagnosis or medication or therapy did. Seems like Kanye feels the same way, and he’s able to spread the message wayyyyy farther than I can right now. I appreciate the help.
If you agree with me, or more importantly, if you totally disagree with me, leave me some (kind) comments or shoot me an email 🙂