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Moment Of Clarity

4 Reasons Why Kanye Isn’t Crazy

We understand.  Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships,  friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice and insight every Tuesday.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Well, 2013 has been an interesting year for many of us, especially Kanye West. Yeezy has been in such an unflattering spotlight during 2013 that he ended the year with a resolution of sorts: to not say anything negative for six months. Kanye’s ‘resolution’ is a good thing as we would all do well to try and be less negative.

It is no wonder why Mr. West made such a declaration, as we have seen him exhibit behavior that many consider over the top (even for Kanye), to say the least. In fact, some people have began questioning his psychological/mental state and calling him crazy (use Google to see all of the references that pop up).

While some are confused by his behavior and others have defended it, the number of people who are wondering if Kanye isn’t in fact going crazy is growing. As a therapist who has never worked with, treated, or evaluated Kanye, based on what I have observed, I don’t think he’s crazy and below are four reasons why:

1) Crazy is not a medical condition and insane is no longer used as a medical condition or term. So … that’s that. Instead, what we do is refer to specific mental disorders like psychosis or describe some type of psychopathology.

2) Everybody’s a little ‘crazy.’ Look, life happens and we deal with whatever comes our way the best way we know how – each of us. Some people handle things well and others struggle a bit. Just think about the last time you acted ‘crazy’ or were out of sorts for one reason or another. Yet, you still managed to find your way back.

3) He’s able to function in society without being a threat to anyone or himself. His lyrics referencing suicide after his mother passed is an excellent example. It was a thought/feeling/whatever that he did not act on.  Being a threat to society is more than getting into a fight or telling someone you’re going to kick their ass. We simply call that a fight or trash talking. Now, in reference to when he attacked the reporter, Kanye was fully lucid and aware of what he was going to do if the reporter kept talking to him and stated as much. The fact that he had a low threshold for the reporters insistence and externalized everything was neither here nor there. In the end, Kanye wants everyone to leave him alone unless he wants to do an interview regarding specific topics (good luck with that one).

With that said, the media could simply say, “Screw you, Ye … We’re not covering you!”  Which is never going to happen. So in the end, Kanye and the media either have to work out a better relationship with one another or establish better boundaries because the cat and mouse game is the nature of the beast. Call it a trade off if you will: We, the media, will follow and irritate you, and we understand that you, the celebrity, might just flip out and punch us in the face. It’s the equivalent of siblings sitting in the back of the car going, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!” and then BAM … a punch in the arm.  One more thing, Kanye would need to have a rich history of physically aggressive or homicidal behaviors in order for us to take a serious look at him being a threat to others.

4) He is able to reflect. He appears to be able to address problematic issues. As annoying as this may be, it keeps him walking that fine line between ‘crazy’ and ‘quirky.’

In the end, what I think Kanye is experiencing is an identity crisis as a result grief. After his mother passed, his world seemed to turn upside down. It is hard enough to deal with the passing of a parent when you know they are dying, but whenever the passing is sudden and the bond is strong, the grief tends to be more intense — even traumatic. Combine that with fame, money, and access, you have the recipe for a disruption in the formation of one’s identity; more specifically for Kanye, it appears he may be experiencing identity moratorium.

Tips on working through an identity crisis:

1) Find a therapist who specializes in this area. My work with this population has been extremely successful with the use of psychotherapy and heart centered hypnotherapy.

2) Take a break. Step back from the stressors that heighten your reactivity until you have worked through enough of the trauma or areas of concern. This will help you be better prepare emotionally when you come in contact with them again.

3) Learn how to let go, forgive, and have compassion towards yourself. These three things are the secret to obtaining emotional freedom. Make it a point to become familiar with how to access and use them.

In closing, there is a saying that whenever a son loses a mother, he is never the same. I believe that Kanye is working through his grief and that work may just take a minute. What ‘s important is that it gets done and he comes out better because of it.

With love and light … I wish you all a wonderful 2014 and pleasant journeys.

Jinnie

Do you have a question for Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. You can also learn more about our “Moment of Clarity” JET therapist via:

Her site at International High Achievers.

Twitter: @intlachievers

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