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Mental Health

Can Presidential Candidates Have Public Mental Health Issues?

Kanye West is one public figure who is almost always in the news - whether it be his music, clothing brand or his family. But, over the past month or so, he has remained in the news for one very different reason - he is running for presidency in the USA. But, not only did this news globally shock fans, so did his latest mental health issues that came to light. If you have followed Kanye West over the years it comes as no surprise to you that he has mental issues, seeing as he has publicly discussed it over the years. His mental health has never been looked at this intensely by media before but now it is being closely examined because of one main question: Is Kanye West stable enough to become president? And can presidential candidates have such public mental health issues?

In the society we live in, talking about mental issues publicly has come a long way. People used to be ashamed of their mental health issues as they blamed themselves for their illness when in fact it is an illness and should be looked as such rather than something they are imagining or something that is all in their heads. Because of the fact that it is an illness, regardless of who it is, this issue should be observed with sensitivity.

Kanye West suffers from bipolar disorder. The raised alarms on his mental health were due to certain claims he had made in Twitter messages and in the press conference of his campaign rally. In the rally he stated, incorrectly, that Harriet Tubman had not actually freed slaves. He also spoke about his family in response to his anti-abortion stance and said that his daughter, North, would have been aborted had it not been for her mother and his wife, Kim Kardashian. He then sent out a series of Tweets concerning Kim, his mother in law and her boyfriend that included topics such as divorcing from Kim herself. Kim later released a statement asking people to be compassionate towards her husband seeing as he does suffer from a mental illness and is currently experiencing a bipolar episode.

This raises the question of whether he should be running for President, seeing as he is mentally unstable because of his bipolar disorder. One thing people need to remember is that presidential candidates could be elected and have influence over the entire country. If they are struggling with a mental health issue that has a profound influence over their decisions and opinions, then they would not be able to remain constant and think for an entire country.

When it comes to a person who is constantly in the public eye, it is also important to look at the fans and other people influenced by the person struggling with a mental illness. It is important to stress the fact that people suffering from bipolar disorder could have difficulty recognizing social information, meaning if someone is suffering from an episode then it is important not to take everything they say to heart and change your views and opinions to the ones of the person suffering from an episode, as they could have very destructive opinions such as Kanye’s latest opinion on Harriet Tubman.

That being said, please remain empathetic towards people suffering from mental illness, regardless of what the illness is because they themselves sometimes do not understand what is happening and need serious help. Mental health should never be taken lightly, regardless of who the person is.

“Until the colour of your skin is the target, you will never understand”- Angela Davis
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