Opinion: How Kanye West’s Actions Reflect Societal Problems


Photo courtesy of BuzzFeed News.

The screenshot from Kanye’s now-deleted Instagram posts features Pete Davidson at a dinner table with a red “x” through his face.

Kanye West’s recent Instagram activity has taken America by storm, as he publicly condemns the actions of his soon-to-be ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. The “meme-worthy” actions of Kanye have raised questions surrounding emotional abuse and mental health in America. 

West expressed his anger and resentment regarding Kardashian’s relationship with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson through a series of now-deleted Instagram posts. Although Kardashian has stayed relatively quiet throughout the entirety of West’s recent outburst, she made one public statement regarding the rapper’s behavior on a Feb. 5 Instagram story. 

Kim Kardashain and Pete Davidson started dating shortly after Kardashian hosted the October 9th episode of Saturday Night Live, of which Pete is a cast member. (Photo courtesy of CelebSecrets.)

“Divorce is difficult enough on our children, and Kanye’s obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all,” Kardashian said.

West has a highly-publicized diagnosis of bipolar disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, two signs of an individual experiencing a manic episode are “doing risky things that show poor judgment” and “feeling like they are unusually important, talented, or powerful.” Even though West has exhibited these symptoms, he has stated on numerous occasions that he is not interested in receiving any treatment.

Although his struggles with bipolar disorder should not be downplayed, Kanye’s actions cannot solely be attributed to his diagnosis. Doing so would be counterintuitive and harmful for the 2.3 million other Americans who battle the same diagnosis. Instead, we must separate Kanye’s actions from his illness and hold him accountable for the continuous detrimental and concerning decisions. 

Another screenshot from Kanye’s Instagram features a text message from Kim Kardashian, in which she states that, Kanye is “creating a dangerous and scary environment and someone will hurt Pete.” (Photo courtesy of BuzzFeed News.)

Throughout February, West has made it public knowledge that he has bought a house across the street from Kardashian and their children. Additionally, he has accused Kardashian of kidnapping their daughter and has confidently stated that he will get his family back. 

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, warning signs of emotional abuse include “acting jealous or possessive or refusing to trust you” and “monitoring your activities with or without your knowledge.” Both of which West has exemplified and owned up to within his Instagram posts. 

Although West’s posts are easy to get a good laugh out of, his actions are incredibly problematic and worrisome when examined further. Instead of merely shrugging the situation off as another celebrity issue, Kanye should serve as a highly publicized account of emotional abuse and draw attention to the stigmatized topic of men’s mental health within the United States. I believe that Kanye would have sought treatment for his mental health sooner if obtaining help wasn’t as stigmatized within America.

In the end, America should observe the absurdity that West has exhibited throughout the process of his divorce and, rather than seeing it as a form of comedy and entertainment, see it for what it is: an act of abuse and a cry for mental health help.