“You have this moment where you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone,”West told Letterman when discussing what it’s like to have a manic episode with bipolar disorder.
“When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything, everyone,” West explained. “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.”
The conversation kicks off the second season of Letterman’s Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” which debuts Friday.
West recounted being diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago and described his experience with an involuntary psychiatric hold in 2016.
“They have this moment where they put you, they handcuff you, they drug you, they put you on the bed, and they separate you from everyone you know,” he said. “That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment.”
West first shared his bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2018 on his album, “Ye.” He referenced taking medication to treat his condition in his conversation with Letterman.
“If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital. And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it,” he said in reference to his impromptu visit to the celebrity gossip website’s headquarters, which sparked headlines.
West told Letterman he’s choosing to speak about his diagnosis because of a “strong stigma” around mental health.
“People are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way,” West said.