Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The K in Crazy

Much has been made of late of Kayne West's behavior, tweets and other activities centered around his support for Donald Trump and in turn a rally to announce his own 2020 candidacy for President.

I have no real opinion on Mr. West as he is not a musician I have listened to or spent a great deal of time giving what amounts to a flying fuck about his insatiable need for fame as that is hardly a-typical of anyone in the entertainment industry. But to many he is a generational icon and musical genius.  Okay I will save that for Dave Grohl whose amazing essay today in The Atlantic brought tears to my eyes.  I have a fondness for him as both a musician and human being and I always have.  He is just likable and why he may not be everyone's cup of tea but again this is what makes America, respecting differences and allowing those to have them regardless of your own views and opinions. In other words: To each his own.

But there are times when Kayne's behavior is memorable for whatever reason.  The first was during the telethon for Hurricane Katrina victims and during the presentation he said, "George Bush doesn't like black people."  For many reasons I laughed as well I thought, "Yeah he may be right there," and then the shit hit the fan but again that thing about free speech and funny is it acceptable when you agree with it, not when you don't.  You cannot have it both ways, sorry folks.

Then there was the Grammy outburst with Taylor Swift and his belief that Beyonce was the deserved winner. And again I thought, "Yeah he may be right there."  Funny that like Kayne I have never willingly or knowingly heard any of her songs either, go figure.  Hey that Foo Fighters guy, heard his shit?

And the strange behavior of Kayne at the White House was so bizarre that at one point I could not figure out if it was staged, a send up and the sad state of James Brown sitting there was so off putting that it was then I thought, "Hey this guy needs meds and professional help." And it was not because of loving Trump as well anyone who loves this man does need a head check.  That said, again it was more about the substance of some of his more unusual suggestions and beliefs that I found distressing.  The Slavery issue was one and his subsequent comments did little to make any sense to an already bizarre thought train, including those on Harriet Tubman which he reiterated of late.

Now on one note, I have no idea about Kayne's educational background or how far he got in school but again I have met in the last few months people who have no idea on many significant people and issues regarding Black History including who John Lewis was with regards to Civil Rights history, Emmett Till, and other subsequent individuals and events that are about Black history. And I want to point out they are Black so this is upsetting on many levels.  And that in fact aligns with many of Kayne's beliefs or misstatements.

The ones surrounding Bill Cosby are opinions on which he is entitled, on well Michael Jackson, again that is belief and any other personal issue on varying popular culture subjects are ones that many share so it is not something to call in the professional help for; However, the rambling incoherence, the lack of linear thought and coherent reasoning shows someone in a deep mental health break.

And why I believe that he is not BiPolar as the Kardashian clan claim is that he is way beyond the mania and depressive behavior that is common to that mental illness.  I believe his schizophrenic and given his age, 43,  what has been repressed and managed, usually by self medicating, close interpersonal relationships, active work, all which often enable the individual to on the appearance be "normal" within reason.   And given his profession it would allow much of this to be overlooked or literally ignored for decades as just a part of the "genius."  We make excuses so much for many who are wealthy, from drug addiction to sexual abuse, it seems that the hall pass goes for as long as the money remains.   When  President is wishing well an accomplice to a sexual predator, child abuser and sex trafficker, well, it shows that money is the best insulator from law and order than any other and it crosses all colors and genders.

I have a friend whose brother is a Schizophrenic.  I knew instantly when he described the behaviors and dialogues with him and sure enough a year ago he had been hospitalized.  He was working but with Covid the stress of quarantine and the pressure of work, he was a UPS driver, lent him to crack under the pressure.  His family had no idea and as a teen he was heavy into to drugs and later into alcohol but he was married, had a child and again worked and owned a home so he was functioning.  Today he is not, and a family is coming to terms what has been in plain sight since he was a kid are struggling with what to do.  But without access and availability to long term care and the individuals able to treat the individual and help the family, this is what you have. And you have a man rambling in his home all day speaking paranoid thoughts, incessantly seeing correlations and demons where none exist and trying to make the voices in his head seem rational.   My friend keeps trying to apply rational thoughts and explanations to write off this behavior, saying "He has not acted on his truth to fix this." This does not apply here as this is not someone who went on a bender, cheated on his wife, ran up debts, it is a mental illness that is treatable but unless families are aware, are active in long term care you have no guarantee what an individual will do in response to a collapse in their mental synapses. Some commit murder, others self harm and some function in moderate care.

The great book, I Know This Much is True, that was made into an HBO series demonstrates how confusing it is for a family in dealing with a member whose mental health demands are often beyond therapy with Physician aided meds.  That is an ideal situation but not one in many cases.

I thought a friend of mine had Social Anxiety Disorder and later he admitted that he was admitted to a hospital at age 19 for Clinical Depression.  I never heard as to what prompted that but it is clear he needs medical attention for the rest of his life which he simply chose not.  He self medicated with Pot then booze and then the Bible. The parallels to Kayne are not lost.  I am not sure if hears voices in his head but he has quoted Biblical scripture to me with a look on his face that terrified me.  Again I am not sure if he too has not been diagnosed properly as that requires a skilled clinician and frankly our medical care sucks and our psychiatric ones even more so.

I am not a Psychiatrist, Mental Health Counselor or Therapist. And many clinicians with said title are no more skilled or knowledgable that I which right there is distressing. I have elected to learn about mental health as an offshoot of my teaching profession and encountering many children with deep mental health needs.  I have had a Schizophrenic in a class and it was distressing as again all of of these individuals I write about are Black, only one is White and comes from a rural part of the country and no less the Bible belt where mental health is dutifully ignored. So this is about access and availability of which Kayne has and yet not one of his family seem to be willing to have him find the right kind. They believe is Bi Polar and that is that as perhaps they see this as something to dangerous, too off-putting to deal with.  Wow, just wow. What is the message there?

This is from the Mayo Clinic regarding Schizophrenia and here is theirs on Bi Polar.  They both have parallels to Kayne but there is psychosis present. He is not capable of being rationalized with and he is potentially dangerous to himself.  So people abusing him on Social Media, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. To get him to face his truth, whatever the fuck that is?  Ask yif this was happening to one of you or yours is this what you do to them? Mock them? Scold them? Or help them.


Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.

People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook.


Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking (cognition), behavior and emotions. Signs and symptoms may vary, but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function. Symptoms may include:

Delusions. These are false beliefs that are not based in reality. For example, you think that you're being harmed or harassed; certain gestures or comments are directed at you; you have exceptional ability or fame; another person is in love with you; or a major catastrophe is about to occur. Delusions occur in most people with schizophrenia.

Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don't exist. Yet for the person with schizophrenia, they have the full force and impact of a normal experience. Hallucinations can be in any of the senses, but hearing voices is the most common hallucination.

Disorganized thinking (speech). Disorganized thinking is inferred from disorganized speech.

Effective communication can be impaired, and answers to questions may be partially or completely unrelated. Rarely, speech may include putting together meaningless words that can't be understood, sometimes known as word salad.

Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behavior. This may show in a number of ways, from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation. Behavior isn't focused on a goal, so it's hard to do tasks. Behavior can include resistance to instructions, inappropriate or bizarre posture, a complete lack of response, or useless and excessive movement.

Negative symptoms. This refers to reduced or lack of ability to function normally. For example, the person may neglect personal hygiene or appear to lack emotion (doesn't make eye contact, doesn't change facial expressions or speaks in a monotone). Also, the person may lose interest in everyday activities, socially withdraw or lack the ability to experience pleasure.

Symptoms can vary in type and severity over time, with periods of worsening and remission of symptoms. Some symptoms may always be present.

In men, schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the early to mid-20s. In women, symptoms typically begin in the late 20s. It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and rare for those older than age 45.

Symptoms in teenagers

Schizophrenia symptoms in teenagers are similar to those in adults, but the condition may be more difficult to recognize. This may be in part because some of the early symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers are common for typical development during teen years, such as:

Withdrawal from friends and family
A drop in performance at school
Trouble sleeping
Irritability or depressed mood
Lack of motivation

Also, recreational substance use, such as marijuana, methamphetamines or LSD, can sometimes cause similar signs and symptoms.

Compared with schizophrenia symptoms in adults, teens may be:

Less likely to have delusions
More likely to have visual hallucinations

When to see a doctor

People with schizophrenia often lack awareness that their difficulties stem from a mental disorder that requires medical attention. So it often falls to family or friends to get them help.
Helping someone who may have schizophrenia

If you think someone you know may have symptoms of schizophrenia, talk to him or her about your concerns. Although you can't force someone to seek professional help, you can offer encouragement and support and help your loved one find a qualified doctor or mental health professional.

If your loved one poses a danger to self or others or can't provide his or her own food, clothing, or shelter, you may need to call 911 or other emergency responders for help so that your loved one can be evaluated by a mental health professional.

In some cases, emergency hospitalization may be needed. Laws on involuntary commitment for mental health treatment vary by state. You can contact community mental health agencies or police departments in your area for details.

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