General Hospital star Maurice Benard has been an outspoken proponent of taking mental health seriously for decades. The actor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his 20s, and this week, musician and music producer Kanye West, who is also diagnosed as bipolar had what people are ‘calling’ a meltdown on Twitter.
Three weeks ago, West took to Twitter to announce he would be running for president as an Independent. Some people took him seriously although he didn’t manage to make state ballot deadlines to become an actual third party spoiler in the upcoming presidential election.
Maurice Benard Speaks Out
On Wednesday, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West spoke out and asked the public to have compassion for her husband, as he suffers from mental illness. In addition, Benard has come out in West’s defense, first tweeting, “As I saw a video of @kanyewest it really saddened me, I don’t know the details, I have a gut feeling. From one Bipolar to another Bipolar, I truly hope you find your way.”
He then took to his YouTube Channel called ‘Maurice Benard: State Of Mind’ to talk more about West. “I have a lot of compassion,” Benard said. “I don’t really care of your race, your religion, because what I see and what I feel is someone in pain.
“And knowing that Kanye West is bipolar I am more apt to have a little more compassion because I happen to be bipolar. And I know what that pain is like. It’s not fun. It’s not fun for the individual, it’s not fun for the people who love him and have to deal with mental illness.
“Now, I heard he doesn’t take medication and I have been watching this go down since that time he came on stage…and I just heard him rambling on stage and I called my wife and said, ‘Honey, I think Kanye West is having a breakdown.”
Benard was emotional as he explained his thoughts on West. “I just feel bad. I feel bad for him and feel bad for his family. I am not saying they should allow him to hurt anybody else or do anything he really shouldn’t be doing. But it’s tough because until the individual wants to get help, there’s really nothing you can do.”
The actor went on to explain that he has always wanted help because the depression that comes with being bipolar can be so intense that Benard just doesn’t want that. “Whenever I have been sick with depression or anxiety or a manic episode, I am like ‘Help me, help me.
In the end, Benard asks this one important thing. “Let’s not judge. You never know what somebody is going through and I wish him well. I wish his family well.”
You can see Benard’s full video below. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.