How Kanye West Got to the Point Where He Needed to Be Hospitalized--and What Happens Next Once He's Evaluated
Kanye West kept going for as long as he could, not wanting to disappoint his fans, but eventually it got to be too much.
After exhibiting more erratic than usual behavior during the most recent shows on his Saint Pablo Tour—which on any given night could play host to the rapper’s far-out musings on creativity, fame, culture, family, politics and whatever else was on Yeezy’s mind—he reached his breaking point.
Police and emergency responders were called yesterday afternoon to the home of celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak in Los Angeles’ Beverly Grove neighborhood after West suffered what was deemed at the time as a “psychiatric emergency.” His personal doctor had called 911 and, once officers arrived, they handed the situation over to paramedics from the L.A. Fire Department.
West, suffering from mental exhaustion, was voluntarily hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he currently remains—and it’s unclear just how long his stay will be.
There are conflicting reports as to whether he’s on a 5150 hold, which would mean doctors consider him a possible threat to himself or others, or is otherwise undergoing a routine psychological evaluation, which also usually requires a 72-hour stay.
Or, perhaps, he’s just resting. Regardless, because it’s a medical and not criminal situation, authorities are abiding by HIPAA privacy laws to not disclose certain information.
Kim Kardashianhad been in New York to attend the Angel Ball, which was honoring her late father, Robert Kardashian, this year, but she flew back to L.A. immediately and skipped the event to be with her husband. It would have been her first event appearance since she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris on the morning of Oct. 3.
West was onstage in New York when he was informed what had happened to his wife, and he was so rattled he ended his show mid-song.
Neilson Barnard/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV
Meanwhile, Kanye left the stage just a few songs into his concert Sunday night in Sacramento after a surprising rant in which he accused Beyoncé of refusing to perform at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards unless she won Video of the Year over West’s “Famous” and Drake‘s “Hotline Bling.” (Interestingly, Yeezy’s always speaking up for someone else’s work too—as he infamously did for Beyoncé in 2009—even when he’s talking about his own. At this year’s VMAs, West spoke for about four minutes before premiering his video for “Fade,” and during his characteristic mashup of conversation topics he said, “Now, later tonight, ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyoncé, but I can’t be mad. I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win, so.”)
“I’ve been sent here to give y’all my truth even at the risk of my own life, my own success, my own career,” he continued Sunday. “Jay Z—call me, bruh. You still ain’t called me. Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Please call me. Talk to me like a man.”
And right before he stormed off, West added, “Get ready to write your passive-aggressive, LeBron James, racist comments. Season 4, racist comments. Get ready to have a field day, press. Get ready, get ready. Because the show’s over.”
Yesterday morning, it was announced that West had canceled the rest of his Saint Pablo Tour. Hours later, he was in the hospital.
So, what comes next for the volatile star?
If doctors ultimately determine that a patient is a danger to himself or others, then he will be kept in a secure setting, allowed visitation by family members but kept behind locked doors, explains L.A.-based psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy.
“The next steps after the hold are when someone has come together, they’re feeling better, they’re then referred for outpatient treatment based on what was discovered during that hospitalization,” Sophy tells E! News. (The doctor is not involved in West’s case.)
A source told E! that Kanye was suffering from sleep deprivation—and Sophy says that it can happen at any age and it can cause behavior that resembles some of what West seemed to exhibit over the the past week.
“You’re almost delirious,” the doctor says. “You’re punch-drunk, kind of, you’re silly, you’re talking, you’re not making sense sometimes—you actually look like you may have a mental-health disorder to a major degree. [Like] you’re psychotic even, you’re hallucinating, seeing things, hearing things. But sleep and medication, sometimes, clears that right up. Sometimes I’ve seen it [cleared up] within 24 hours.”
Basically over time, not getting enough sleep can “eat away” at a person’s “presentation and their brain function,” prompting behavior that could resemble a psychiatric emergency.
Asked if what happened to Kim last month could also have been haunting Kanye as well, Sophy said that was absolutely a possibility. “Any kind of stress drives all of our brains to shift their chemicals and then the response we get is however we handle stress,” he says.
Sophy also said there are “many pieces” other than sleep deprivation that could lead to someone reaching this state, but at this point sources close to Kanye are attributing his hospitalization to exhaustion.
As for how common it is for someone to reach a point, mentally or emotionally, where they’re in so much in distress that they end up needing to be put on a psychological hold, Sophy says it actually happens fairly often.
“People are not self-aware enough to see that the red flags and the signs are there early enough to do something and they push themselves,” he says, “especially when you’re working as hard as someone like [Kanye] is. You’re on a tour, you’re not eating properly, the hours may be off, you could be dehydrated—and you’re not sleeping. You’re just working, you’re on a mission. But before you know it, you lose yourself.”