If I Had A Friend Like Kanye West

November 23, 2016  |  

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Its sometimes hard to be friends with people with big personalities. You know, the ones who always give their opinion. The ones who have to get their voices heard, even at the expense of other people. If Kanye West were my friend, I think he’d be that guy in the group, the one who’d piss you off for saying the thing that everyone was thinking but had too much self-control to say –like about George Bush and Black people.

Sometimes, it would be hard to keep up with a friend like Kanye, always seeming to have his hands in a pot somewhere, never seeming to slow down. Of course, the seemingly narcissistic persona would worry me sometimes. It’s hard to talk to someone when all they can do is talk about themselves or how great they are. I’m assuming that Kanye talks about himself at least as much at home as he does in public. Because though a rapper’s self-aggrandized persona is par for the course, I get the sense that Kanye is a little more “extra” than the average rapper.

But seriously, if Kanye West were my friend, I would always watch his behavior. I’d be looking for actions that are odd, even for him. Because I wouldn’t be sure if his actions were that of a flailing pop star or those of someone in need of help.

I wouldn’t dismiss him as “crazy” like Snoop Dogg did. Crazy means that you don’t understand someone and are dismissing them and their behavior. Just because you don’t understand someone doesn’t mean that there isn’t a reason for their behavior.

Around the time of his mother’s death anniversary, I’d watch Kanye West more closely. I lost my mother more than 20 years ago and I know the pain never lessens. And I kind of “lose my mind” around the time of my mom’s anniversary, so I understand what grief can do to a person who might not be feeling well anyway. I’d suggest that he seek therapy during this time of year in order to deal with that lingering emotion. It sounds logical, and it might appeal to someone who is averse to any other kind of therapy. It might even appeal to someone who is resistant to others’ opinions.

Every time Kanye got into a beef, I’d ask how he was doing. Mostly because he gets into lots of beefs and goes on a lot of erratic Twitter rants. I’d probably do some research on erratic behavior in artists, or maybe just look up what his outlandish behavior could mean. If I did that, I’d come up with a lot of information about mental health. About bipolar mania and how it makes people behave strangely. And about psychosis and how you can tell if someone is slipping from reality. Once I did that research, I’d think differently about Kanye’s behavior. Maybe I’d think that he needed some professional help on a regular basis.

If Kanye West were my friend, I don’t think I’d wait until his behavior reached the “I’m ranting in a public place in front of thousands of people” stage. If, in fact, he was spending too much time and worry on his fashion business, I’d suggest ways he could get help. I’d suggest ways to make his life more streamlined and less stressful. I’d suggest therapy again because if someone works to the point of exhaustion, it’s a sign that something else is going on. That someone is trying to escape a part of their life.

Getting Kanye into therapy would require an intervention. Friends and family rallied around to shed some light on how he behaves and how it is damaging. Jay-Z and Beyonce would be there and they would know that Kanye hadn’t been in his right mind when he said some of the things he said. They would know that Ye’s paranoid ramblings were part of a bigger issue. The intervention wouldn’t end with handcuffs in an ambulance, maybe with a car ride to a safe wing in Cedars-Sinai.

When someone has a break with reality, expressing paranoid thoughts and uncharacteristic anger, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. But you shouldn’t have to wait until someone has a big meltdown to try to get them some help. If you’re paying enough of the right kind of attention all along, you can help someone with an undiagnosed mental illness get the help they need as soon as possible. Because getting help is the most important thing.


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