Mental Health Experts Weigh In on Kanye West’s Continued Hospitalization
What will the next few days, weeks and months look like for the polymath entertainer who is constantly busy producing music, concerts, fashion lines and multimedia projects?
It’s been over a week since Kanye West was admitted to Los Angeles’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and placed under observation after suffering from exhaustion and sleep deprivation. In that time, little information has been released about what is ailing West and what the timetable for his recovery might be. An unnamed source told People magazine this week that West generally has “big ups and downs, but this bout seems to be much more serious. In the hospital he has been very paranoid and is under constant watch for his safety.” The anonymous source said the 39-year-old rapper is still under observation because “clearly he’s not doing well.”
The magazine reported that wife Kim Kardashian West says she is “very concerned” about her husband’s condition, and says he hasn’t yet been formally diagnosed: “She says that Kanye is on many different medications and that his doctors are figuring proper doses. Kim says that not much has changed since he was admitted and that his doctors seem concerned.” A spokesperson for West did not return requests for an update on his condition at press time.
So what will the next few days, weeks and months look like for the polymath entertainer who is constantly busy producing music, concerts, fashion lines and multimedia projects? Billboard spoke to mental health experts about what the rapper’s extended stay might indicate and what his recuperation could look like.
“If someone remains in the hospital [after an event like this], it may just mean that they need to be in the hospital that long to get well,” Dr. Jody M. Rawles, a psychiatrist and the Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs in the psychiatry department at the University of California-Irvine, told Billboard. Dr. Rawles, who has no first-hand knowledge of the situation and has not treated West in the past, said when his team admits someone under similar circumstances they will keep them in the hospital as long as is necessary, but not a day longer, because staying in a hospital environment for too long can be detrimental to a patient’s health.
“Physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation can lead to erratic, psychotic and paranoid thinking and many performers and other professionals — and our society in general — don’t get enough sleep,” he added. “Certainly someone who has a lot of pressure to perform, present [their art], do interviews and be seen can feel a lot of pressure. If the alleged reason for admission is dehydration and exhaustion, part of keeping someone hospitalized for a longer period is to figure out if that is all that’s going on.”
The hospitalization came after a bizarre series of incidents involving the hip-hop superstar, including rants endorsing President-elect Donald Trump, calling out Beyonce and Jay Z, cutting a concert short, canceling the remainder of his…