Media

Kanye West slammers: A real expert talks mental health

Kanye West on Facebook (January 17, 2018)

Yesterday Kanye West met with President Trump at the White House and said he had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, but really he had suffered sleep deprivation. Yahoo News covers the story fairly here.

West and Trump were friends long before Trump was elected president, and West said he didn’t even bother to vote in 2016, but bigots went crazy the moment West wore a Trump MAGA hat in public, and here is a later Facebook post by both of them:

On Monday, West had met with the president to discuss prison reform and again insanity broke loose as professional bigots said West is “the token Negro of the Trump administration” and “No one should be taking Kanye West seriously. He clearly has issues. He’s already been hospitalized.”

Glenn Greenwald offers superb analysis. In part, he wrote: “In 2018, West spoke publicly and bravely about that hospitalization and the medical treatment he has received for his mental health struggles, including a bipolar diagnosis. West described how his doctors found the right balance of medication and therapies and he decided to speak publicly about his medical treatment because, in his words, ‘I want to change the stigma of mental health.'”

Now allow me to introduce a real expert on mental health and mental illness. My friend Phil has been diagnosed with a number of illnesses (such as bipolar disorder and PTSD), which could be due to chemical imbalances. In other words, psychiatry isn’t a precise science and it can take doctors years to adequately treat their patients. Nevertheless, my friend Phil is intelligent, wise, brave, sane and a joy in many people’s lives. So please listen political pundits and Hollywood producers. Here’s what Phil said to his friends on Facebook and he gave me permission to share it with you.

Phil: “Wednesday, in group therapy, we talked about how even when pop culture addresses mental health issues, it usually presents false or half-assed depictions that only embolden people to continue to treat us like we’re not full people.

“Today, so many in the media and on social media proved the point. Kanye isn’t your patient, and every time you diagnose him, or castigate him for being hospitalized (someone on CNN legit said he shouldn’t be in the Oval Office because he was hospitalized for MH), or say he’s off his meds, you’re saying that to all of us.

“Please stop.”

Friends asked Phil questions and the therapy sessions are confidential, so he said this: “I can share one thing we talked about that really is a big part of all this – on TV, people with psychiatric problems are typically given some drug (like Lithium) that immediately calms them down (despite it not doing that, and also it taking several weeks to work effectively). Shows like “Homeland” and “Shameless” – both shows that try to present mental health issues realistically – fail us when they show meds working like magic, or people having immediate benefits when normally it can take months or years to figure out a workable combination.

“So when people say someone is off their meds, it’s like saying anyone who’s on meds but still exhibits symptoms (like me, at times) is not following treatment. That stigma drives us to retreat further away from folks.”

Hello CNN and Hollywood! Phil is a real mental health expert for you and he deserves big bucks. Don’t be shy. Email anita(at)anitacrane.com if you want to consult him.

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