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What Do Kanye West's Rants Reveal About His Mental State?

03/06/2013
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(Radio.com) Kanye West has been making news with his European Tirade Tour where he empties his thoughts onstage and unburdens himself of his opinions on life, art, and the perils of being a genius. But for the most part, he simply rages against the machine.

The rants are given prominent placement in West's sets. He yells, screams and weaves rhymes into his conversation to make his points.

While fans at Kanye West's shows seemed to respond favorably to his pronouncements, the wild actions raised concerns in others–including those in the mental health field–who have questions about the rapper's mental wellbeing.

"He's a rapper and outspoken and giving some kind of emotional rant," said Dr. John Sharp, author of The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to become Happier, More Fulfilled and in Control of Your Life. "It could be a reaction against money against corruption."

"He could be putting his feelings out there as if they are alive in someone else and not him," Dr. Sharp explained to Radio.com. "There is something called projective identification. It's when you are railing against something that you perfer to rail against rather than relate to. If you are angry you might see an angry guy and say that guy is really angry."

While Dr. Sharp is careful to point out that he cannot diagnose Kanye by watching a few tapes of what seems to be unusual behavior, he does say that people who use projective identification can learn to cope with their feelings in a more productive manner.

"Maybe [his girlfriend] Kim Kardashian could sit him down and say, 'Hang on don't you think you feel a little of that yourself?'" Dr. Sharp explained. "With the right kind of support and without challenging too much, you might be able to get them to drop their guard." more.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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