Kanye West recalls being handcuffed and drugged during involuntary psychiatric hold

Kanye West is opening up about his struggle with mental illness.

In a new interview on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, the rapper talks about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago — after being placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold in November 2016. He pointed out the “strong stigma” associated with mental illness — and shared what happens to him during a manic episode.

The “Jesus Walks” singer, 41, talked about mental illness having a “strong stigma” attached to it, saying, “People are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way.”

He said his bipolar disorder is “like a sprained brain” and compared it to a sprained ankle, saying, “If someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more.”

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Kim and Kanye out and about in recent years
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are seen outside the mark hotel on May 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are seen outside the mark hotel on May 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend The Metropolitan Museum Of Art's 2019 Costume Institute Benefit "Camp: Notes On Fashion" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seen out on the 2019 MET Gala day on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seen out on the 2019 MET Gala day on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the 2019 Met Gala celebrating 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute. The Gala's 2019 theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion" inspired by Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on Camp". (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on December 03, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on December 03, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West pose at the opening night of the new musical "The Cher Show" on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend the Broadway Opening Night Performance of "The Cher Show" at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West arrive at "The Cher Show" Broadway Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on December 03, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for The Cher Show )
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Kim Kardashian is seen wearing a Versace dress with Kanye West outside the Versace Pre-Fall 2019 Collection on December 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Kim Kardashian is seen wearing a Versace dress with Kanye West outside the Versace Pre-Fall 2019 Collection on December 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 02: Kim Kardashian (L) and Kanye West attend the Versace Pre-Fall 2019 Runway Show at the American Stock Exchange in the Financial District on December 02, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JUNE 21: Kim Kardashian , Kanye West and La La Anthony attend Teyana Taylor Album release Party at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 21, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JUNE 21: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend Teyana Taylor album Release Party at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 21, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JUNE 21: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend Teyana Taylor album Release Party at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 21, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West leave a restaurant on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week Week on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 15, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 15, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Kim Kardashian, North West and Kanye West arrive to The Polo Bar on June 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West take North West to Polo Bar on June 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Kim Kardashian, North West and Kanye West arrive to The Polo Bar on June 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Kim Kardashian West (L) and Kanye West attend the Nas "Nasir" Album Listening Session on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Kim Kardashian West (L) and Kanye West attend the Nas "Nasir" Album Listening Session on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Common (L), Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian West (C) attend March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives)
CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD - "The Kardashian Family vs. The West Family" - The hour-long episode will feature the family that everyone has been waiting to see battle it out on "Celebrity Family Feud," the Kardashian family vs. the West family! The season premiere of "Celebrity Family Feud" airs SUNDAY, JUNE 10 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Byron Cohen via Getty Images) KANYE WEST, KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, KIM WALLACE
CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD - "The Kardashian Family vs. The West Family" - The hour-long episode will feature the family that everyone has been waiting to see battle it out on "Celebrity Family Feud," the Kardashian family vs. the West family! The season premiere of "Celebrity Family Feud" airs SUNDAY, JUNE 10 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Byron Cohen via Getty Images) KANYE WEST, KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, KIM WALLACE, JALIL PERAZA
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen on January 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG022/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the Yeezy after party on February 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian West are seen on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
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West said people with mental illness are constantly being pushed.

“With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse,” he said. “They do everything possible. They got us to that point and they do everything to make it worse.”

To illustrated the “make it worse point,” he recalled his stay in a psychiatric hospital and said his treatment was abysmal.

“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.

Instead of that crushing him, he said it was “something that I am so happy that I experienced myself, so I can start by changing that moment.”

He continued, “When you are in that state, you have to have someone you trust. It is cruel and primitive to do that. They love to write you off. They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much.”

West, who recently welcomed his fourth child with Kim Kardashian, also talked about what happens to him during an episode — the paranoia and mania.

“When you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” he said. “You can become almost more adolescent in your expression.”

But “when you’re in this state, you're hyper-paranoid about everything,” he said. “Everyone — 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.'

He added, “This is my specific experience that I've had over the past two years, because I've only been diagnosed for two years now.”

West was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center in November 2016 after a breakdown preceded by sleep deprivation and extreme dehydration. He had been on tour around that time and his onstage rants had been making headlines. The tour was abruptly cancelled.

He confirmed his bipolar diagnosis on his 2018 album, Ye, and referred to it is his “superpower.” However, a few months later he backed from the diagnosis — infamously telling President Trump he was misdiagnosed.

Kardashian told Voguein April that after getting “conflicting assessments” from various doctors, he has reaccepted his diagnosis.

“I think we’re in a pretty good place with it now,” she said. “It is an emotional process, for sure. Right now everything is really calm. But we can definitely feel episodes coming, and we know how to handle them.”

However, she said he won’t medicate to treat his disorder because he thinks it stifles his creativity.

“For him, being on medication is not really an option, because it just changes who he is,” she said. “Traveling a lot does set it off, so he doesn’t travel as much as he used to.” And when he’s in the “middle of a bipolar episode, I’ll do everything to be supportive and help to calm the situation.”

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