David Letterman Says Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's 'Energy and Dynamic' Is 'Fascinating'
"I recognize from my discussion with Kanye that you suffer," David Letterman said about Kanye West's bipolar diagnosis
Ahead of the release of West’s episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Friday, Letterman, 72, appeared on The View, where he opened up about attending West’s Sunday Service and the duo’s no-holds-barred discussion.
“I’m ignorant on this topic of bipolar or schizophrenia. Luckily, I don’t have it. I’m not sure that I know anybody who does have it. But I recognize from my discussion with Kanye that you suffer,” Letterman said in PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek of Friday’s episode of the ABC morning talk show.
While Letterman learned extensively about how West, 41, has learned to live with his bipolar disorder, Letterman also observed the musician’s strong relationship with his wife, Kim Kardashian West.
“The thing that was fascinating to me was his wife Kim, who I knew a little bit more than Kanye, is such a strong advocate. Not only for her family and her husband, but also as we know for prisoner rights and people who have been incarcerated unnecessarily lengthy terms in prison and prisoner rights,” Letterman said of Kardashian West, who has helped inmates seek clemency.
Added Letterman: “The combination of the two — the energy and dynamic was something I really was not expecting.”
Following years of speculation from fans —particularly after he was hospitalized for a “psychiatric emergency” in November 2016 just after canceling his Saint Pablo tour — West seemingly confirmed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder last summer with the release of his album Ye — which bore the phrase “I Hate Being Bipolar. It’s Awesome” on the cover.
During West’s chat with Letterman, the father of four — he shares daughters Chicago, 16 months, and North, 6 next month, as well as 3-year-old son Saint and 3-week-old son Psalm with Kardashian West — opened up about what it’s like when he has an “episode.”
“When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything,” West said during the interview. “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.”
“You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone,” he continued.
West also described being handcuffed and separated from loved ones during treatment.
“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,” West said, according to the outlet. “That’s something that I am so happy that I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment.”
“When you are in that state, you have to have someone you trust. It is cruel and primitive to do that,” he added.
WATCH: Kanye West Gets Candid About His Bipolar Diagnosis, Says at One Point He Had to Be Handcuffed
“If you don’t take medication every day to keep you at a certain state, you have a potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you can even end up in the hospital. And you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it,” West said, referencing the explosive interview he gave to TMZ in May 2018, in which he infamously suggested that slavery is “a choice.”
“When you ramp up, it expresses your personality more. You can become almost more adolescent in your expression,” West continued. “This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now.”
At the end of the day, the rapper says he wants to help break the stigma around bipolar disorder.
“It’s a health issue that has a strong stigma on it and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way,” he said. “This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more.”
“With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse,” he reportedly continued. “They do everything possible. They got us to that point and they do everything to make it worse.”
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman premieres on Netflix on Friday.