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Is the Loss of Kanye's Mother Triggering his Mental Health

Donda West recognized Kanye West’s talent and his commitment and opened the doors to his music career.


Kanye wrote and recorded his first song at 13 years old. A decade later, at 23, he became a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. Fast forward four years, and his solo career launched. A lot of responsibility, money, and fame came quickly, and Kanye relied on his mother to guide him as she had done all his young life. But three years after he dropped his first album, Donda West died. Kanye was 30 years old.

During those years of life, self-awareness and identity development occur, according to Erik Erikson’s psychological research. “Unsuccessful identity formation leads to ‘crisis’ where an individual is constantly struggling to find themselves into adulthood,” according to Dr. Rachel Kitson’s “A Psychologist’s Perspective on Kanye West.” Psychological crises can occur if task failure results in feeling inferior or if role confusion occurs. Expectations from themselves and from people around them can trigger it.

Kanye blamed himself initially for her death, saying his career had led her to Los Angeles, where she died. “My mother was my everything,” Kanye told MTV.

His friends also knew how close they were: “There are always pictures of him and his mother. His mother is his life they were best friends,” DJ Khaled told the Chicago Tribune.

After her death, Kanye began having public outbursts and released an album in 2008, “808s and Heartbreak,” with somber songs.

In 2016, he had a mental breakdown after several weeks of erratic behavior at his concerts and was committed to a psychiatric unit, right around the anniversary of his mother’s death.

But being an entertainer gives one a constant source of attention and validation which narcissists crave. Kanye did state in his April 2018 interview with Charlamagne tha God that his “world therapy” approach to addressing issues by using his friends as his therapists is “kinda narcissistic.”

In that same interview last month, he discussed that he felt that hospitalization was a breakthrough, not a breakdown, but also expressed his concern for being a target. When he talked about the misunderstanding with Jay-Z and the expectations he had of him as a “brother,” he said: “I always feel like I’m out here in Hollywood my moms passed. I don’t know who I can trust. I don’t trust nobody.”

Less than two weeks after talking to Charlamagne, bizarre tweets and comments came out, saying slavery was a choice and that he got liposuction to please the media/fans on a TMZ broadcast.

All of this took place on the cusp of releasing an album in June, which is said to be dedicated to his mother. He even reached out to his mother’s surgeon recently, who he previously blamed for his mother’s death, and asked him to be on the cover of his album. Consequently, he embraced the surgeon’s open letter and offer for support instead and expressed a desire to get together with him soon and “heal.”

But can he With Mother’s Day just days away, will this be another trigger for a breakdown Will his June 1 album be therapeutic for him Will he seek true therapy Or will he just tweet It might be better if he ignores Twitter and the media that day, and actually talks to a professional for his own health.

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