Months after candidly discussing his bipolar disorder diagnosis and referencing it on his album, Kanye West told Donald Trump that he was "misdiagnosed" during a meeting at the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon.
In a video obtained by CBS News, he can be seen saying that though he was initially diagnosed with bipolar, another doctor told him, "I wasn’t actually bipolar, I had sleep deprivation which can cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now when I wouldn’t even remember my son’s name."
On the track "Yikes," West’s lyrics state, "That’s my bipolar shit," and, "That’s my superpower n----, ain’t no disability." He later spoke to radio host Big Boy, confirming he was "diagnosed with a mental condition," but that he felt that it was his superpower because it helped him creatively.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 2.6% of the U.S. population suffers from bipolar, which causes dramatic shifts in someone's mood, energy, and ability to think clearly.
We don't know what West himself is going through in regards to mental health, and can't speculate, but Arash Javanbakht, MD, a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, says that bipolar disorder can be difficult to truly pin down — especially because it's usually diagnosed by examining patterns in a person's life as well as their mental health history instead of by looking at any first-impression symptoms.
Dr. Javanbakht says that while he personally hasn't seen sleep disorders misdiagnosed as bipolar, sleep can certainly play an element in bipolar disorder.
"Any stressor can trigger a manic or hypomanic episode in someone who's vulnerable, and insomnia is one of those stressors," he says. "We want to make sure patients who are bipolar get enough sleep, because sleep deprivation can lead to a manic or hypomanic episode. But that doesn't mean insomnia causes bipolarity."
Ultimately, bipolar is a complex disorder, and can often be the subject of confusion. If you're experiencing symptoms like manic episodes, breaks from reality, changes in mood, and decreased need for sleep, it's best to contact a mental health professional who might be able to help you.
If you are struggling with bipolar disorder and are in need of information and support, please call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-6264. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NAMI” to 741741.