Why Kanye’s Hospitalization Reinforces Mental Health Stigma

Kanye West gets hospitalized and in result we continue to treat mental health issues as the latest meme.

When it first made headlines that Kanye was ranting again at one of his concerts on The Saint Pablo Tour, I watched along with everyone on social media.

(Watch a part of Kanye’s rant at his show in Sacramento, California below)

I was slightly confused about why he thought a concert (a place where people pay money to listen to an artist perform their music live) was the right place to spend 30 minutes talking about but I thought the same thing as everyone always does, “Kanye is just being Kanye.” Like his previous outbursts at NBC’s A Concert For Hurricane Relief in 2005, during Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech in 2009, and his infamous interview on Sway’s radio show, Sway In the Morning on SiriusXM in 2013. I believed Kanye was being himself. But little did I know that something deeper was going on internally.

Exactly one day after Kanye stormed off the stage of his Sacramento show, he decided to cancel the remainder of his shows on The Saint Pablo Tour. And just 24 hours after the cancellation of his tour, it was reported that Kanye had been hospitalized for sleep deprivation.

As always, the news immediately broke on social media that Kanye had been rushed to UCLA Medical Center. But instead of outpours of prayers and concerns, jokes and mockery of his apparent mental illness surfaced. Tweets that blamed “The Kardashian Curse” for making Kanye “crazy,” called him “attention-seeking” and compared his mental breakdown to Britney Spear’s in 2007 are just a few examples of the thousands of tweets that were posted on that day.

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Society’s quick judgment on people that deal with mental illness is so disgusting and an inequality in itself. It does not matter that Kanye West is a celebrity, he is also human. A human-being who has been suffering with a mental disorder for years and it so happens that his breaking point was broadcasted for the world to see. But that does not make his health any less important and it does not give society the right to use his health as a way to get retweets and likes on social media.

After these turn of events it is clear that all of Kanye’s antics were a subliminal cry for help. I advise people to stop trolling behind their computer screens and use the internet for something purposeful. Do your research about mental disorders before you judge someone for theirs because in all honesty what you see does not compare to what goes on in the lives of those with mental disorders.

To learn more about how stigma affects those with mental illness and what you can do to make a difference, please watch this video below.

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