Kayne West's recent announcement that he is running for President of the United States has been met with a predictably frenzied response.
Die-hard fans are promising their vote on November 3. Card-carrying Republicans and Democrats are lamenting the 'distraction' ahead of one of the most consequential elections in decades. And political analysts are querying whether it would even be possible so late in the game.
But amid all the eye-rolling, anger and mocking memes, there's another conversation happening around the Grammy-winning musician's bid for top office. It's a conversation about his state of mind.
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West, 43, lives with bipolar disorder.
The rapper has spoken about being diagnosed at the age of 39, around the time he was hospitalised for a "psychiatric emergency".
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that's typically characterised by cycles of extreme low moods (which are known as depressive episodes) and extreme high moods (known as manic or hypomanic episodes).
The Australian Psychological Society notes that it can look different in different people.
"For some people, episodes can last for three to six months and occur every few years, while others may experience shorter but more frequent episodes over the course of one year," the APS states.
West has been open in the past about the ways in which the disorder manifests in him, including episodes of mania that he's described as "a ramped-up state". He told David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction in 2019 that it can also include feelings of paranoia and "heightened connection with the universe".
"Everyone — this is my experience, other people have different experiences — everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things," he said.