Inside Rob Kardashian's Health Struggles: Everything He & His Family Have Said over the Years
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Rob Kardashian's health struggles started with a milkshake. In 2015, Kardashian, 30, posted a throwback photo reminiscing on the moment he began to pack on the pounds and captioned it, "Started right here with these milkshakes #throwbackthursday." In the months following that day, Kardashian continued to eat unhealthy, which sent him into a downward spiral, gaining a total of 100 pounds over the course of the year. His physical transformation brought on much insecurity and led to the beginning stages of his recluse lifestyle and depression. Skipping a family vacation, Kardashian tweeted, “No one will ever understand how much it hurts.”
Following his extreme weight gain and retreat from the cameras, Kardashian’s battle with depression worsened. His family attempted to step in multiple times, with mom Kris Jenner offering to bring in professionals or send him to rehab. “I cry myself to sleep literally every night worrying about [Rob]. It’s breaking my heart,” Jenner, 61, said in an April 2015 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But despite their efforts, Kardashian made it clear that he was not interested. “First, I don’t believe in rehab or therapy or anything of that sort and second I’m a grown man and will work on myself when i choose,” Kardashian later tweeted in September 2016. “I’m aware that I’m fat that def aint a surprise to me lol and my only therapy will be in the gym anyways.”
'I CAN'T WIN LIFE FOR HIM'
Despite living with his older sister Khloé, who had a positive influence on him, Rob maintained his stubbornness. “I’ve been working on my patience,” Khloé, 33, previously said. “I’ve been really trying. But I have my moments and I do snap. I’ve offered to get a chef, I’m like, ‘What’s your excuse?’ But it’s not just that. I can’t win life for Rob. I have to wait until [he’s] ready to do it for himself.” Khloé also attributed part of her brother’s struggle to the lack of father figures in his life. “When [our stepdad] Bruce [now Caitlyn Jenner] was around, he was great, but he was going through his own things that none of us understood at the time. Lamar was [Rob’s father figure]. Once Lamar left – and it’s not Lamar’s fault at all – I think Rob didn’t know where to go. He was like, ‘I don’t have guidance anymore.’ ”
While Khloé has been nothing but supportive of her little brother, Kim Kardashian West has approached the situation in a slightly different manner. During an interview in April 2015 with Matt Lauer, Kim, 36, said how Rob is “going through a phase where he’s not comfortable in his own skin," but "is working really hard to get back to where he really wants to be." But like her brother, Kim also eventually hit her breaking point: “Everyone licks Rob’s a-- and does whatever he says. It’s just like, at some point you just have to give it up," she said on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. "We all make his life so easy. ‘Okay, we’ll drive you around with a chauffeur so no one has to look at you.' It’s pathetic. We’re not gonna cater to him anymore, but it has to be all of us.” When mama Kris came to her son's defense, claiming his problems were something he "can't help," Kim responded with a firm no. “He’s still competent to where he can ask for help if he needs it.”
'WHERE'S YOUR WILL TO LIVE?'
With his mental and physical state headed downwards, Khloé refused to give up on her little bro. “Rob is such a great guy. He’s charming, charismatic, everything,” she admitted. “That’s what’s so infuriating. I’m like, ‘Where is your will to live life? Let’s be around people!' ” As one of his biggest supporters, Khloé encouraged Rob to figure his life out and move on from his recluse lifestyle. But with no such luck, Rob found himself in the hospital yet again in December 2015 with a new diagnosis: type 2 diabetes. “It’s sad, because he’s only wasting his life more and more, but he has to figure it out for himself,” Khloé said, who hoped his diagnosis would “shake him up a little bit, and jump-start his health journey.” She added, “He has so many people who want to help him."
A NEW LOOK ON LIFE
Following his diagnosis, Kardashian vowed that things would be different. “When I got out of the hospital, I knew I needed to make changes.” He eventually found his way through the start of a new relationship with model, Blac Chyna, 29, claiming “She got me through my darkest times. I wasn’t happy in my own skin. I missed out on so many things.” He later exclusively told PEOPLE that he “definitely hurt a lot of people” but would “never go to that place again.” Rob also admitted to his faults: “The way I dealt with my issues maybe wasn’t the best, but nobody can make me happy but me. Now I want to see everybody in my family every chance I get. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow."
RELATIONSHIP ON THE ROCKS
The waters didn’t remain calm for long as Rob and Chyna’s public fights brought him back to his reclusive, depressed state. Khloé’s concern grew immediately for her brother: “The more they’re fighting and the longer things are bothering him, the more depressed he gets,” she explained. “He’ll go into hiding again, go missing – I don’t want Rob to live that life anymore.” She also added, “I am really concerned that Rob will go backward – I don’t want him to have made all this progress and then, if they’re having problems, he’ll retreat.”
STEPPING AWAY FROM KUWTK
To avoid the public spotlight, Kardashian took a two-year hiatus from his family’s reality show. While hosting the Architects of Change event with Maria Shriver in January 2016, Kris Jenner spoke on her son’s behalf and addressed his mental health struggles. “I think that it was just the perfect time for him to take a little hiatus,” she said. “We just said, ‘Get well. Feel better.’ He was depressed and just wasn’t feeling good and didn’t know why.” When Shriver asked if it was hard to have one member of the family wanting more privacy when the rest of them are living their lives very much in the the public eye, Jenner said, “it would be really hard” but added that Kardashian “wants to still come back and shoot the show.”
“He just wants to feel better,” Jenner explained. “It’s not that he doesn’t want to be on the show. It’s just he wasn’t feeling good.”
But even with the show hiatus and the diabetes wake-up call, Kardashian still struggled to stabilize his life, including his relationship with Blac Chyna. After a public breakup, Kardashian issued an apology over Instagram: “This weekend I was in an emotional bad place and did some things that embarrassed myself and my family. I apologize and I’m seeking help to deal with my flaws/issues. Please pray for me and I’m sorry @blacchyna. You are a great mother to our child and I love you.”