Transcript - Shuffle Synchronicities Podcast #1 - Kiana Fitzgerald
+ "First Step" by Matthew Shipp Quartet - 11/16/22
Immediately after posting there was a shuffle to…
No joke/no lie
“First Step” by Matthew Shipp Quartet
Which felt like quite a nice little wink 😉
The jazz song itself sounds like the title in the way that first steps 👣 can be apprehensive and stumbling, before warming up, once again, to a good beautiful thing.
Soon after, there was a realization 💡 that a bunch more of you could have been included in last week’s email(s) (There’s also an Unsubscribe button at the bottom, feel free to do so, anytime! 💔)
But also that even though there were a fair number of downloads/streams, some of us often prefer to read/skim a transcript rather than listen to a whole podcast 😏
Below is the transcript to the first Shuffle Synchronicities Podcast (which, yes, you can still listen to it here).
It was with Kiana Fitzgerald, who guest posted previously and also generously shouted out 🗣 the Shuffle on NPR as part of her regular appearances on-air commentating on their program Pop Culture Happy Hour 📻
Look out soon for the next podcast/transcript with Ray Padgett, writer of the Bob Dylan Live Substack, Flagging Down The Double E’s 🎸, top 25 in the paid music category, which he’s adapting into a book. Ray was Shuffle Synchronicities’ 2nd guest poster & started another Substack, Every Tom Waits Song. He published a 33 1/3 on Leonard Cohen’s tribute album & turned his long-running blog, Cover Me, into a book.
But, first, enjoy this transcript of the first Shuffle Synchronicities Podcast with Kiana Fitzgerald where we live-shuffled songs, discussed our personal experiences with Bipolar Disorder to perhaps help the mainstream media and entertainment leaders as well as Jewish and Black communities better understand what might be going on with Kanye West, celebrated Kiana’s upcoming debut book, and much more!
Transcript - Shuffle Synchronicities Podcast #1 - Kiana Fitzgerald
Dave: I'm gonna make jokes about this, but you're like the professional at this and I’m not <laugh> so we can have fun with that.
Kiana: Yeah, for sure. I know this is kind of a serious conversation, but we should still have fun with it <laugh>
Dave: So. We'll begin. Alright. So, I was making jokes with Kiana before we got live. This is my first time ever hosting a podcast. I've been on a couple. But Kiana is a pro as we'll talk about. Kiana Fitzgerald is one of my favorite living music writers. I mean, I've read a lot of her stuff, and everything is just so on point. And also one of my favorite human beings. We never met in person. So it's weird to say that. But Zoom, you get a vibe. With phone, you get a vibe. You can just tell she's a great human being and I'm so happy to have her. She's a journalist and a podcaster and an on-air commentator. She works in the music field and she’s a champion of Black culture and a mental health advocate, particularly on TikTok. So people who are on TikTok. She's got 20,000 supporters on there? Views with hundreds of…how many? I don't know. You would know the number Kiana <laugh> Your TikTok work is, we're gonna play something from that in a little bit, but the intersection between the music, the Black Culture, mental health, is how I found out about you. It was this piece that you wrote for Vibe back in 2019. Was that one of the first pieces about Kanye and bipolar disorder? Is that fair to say?
Kiana: One of the first, I would say. I had written about him before when he first revealed his diagnosis in 2018. But that one was more of an introductory sort of piece. And the one that I wrote in 2019 for Vibe was much more: ‘Okay, let's get to the nitty-gritty of what's going on here.’
Dave: And obviously it's unfolded for a while now. On the Shuffle, I've written a lot about Kanye. That's the thing. Both me and Kiana both share that we're living with bipolar disorder. We're open about it and it's part of our work. It’s not our only identity, but it is part of our identities. So we wanted to have a conversation about that. I'm also Jewish and you can't see Kiana on this podcast, but, you know…
Dave: She’s a Black woman. And so we wanted to have an intersectional conversation about some of the stuff that's going on with him and with us and everyone. So another thing to say is, just, people know, I've done a little bit of publishing. My first thing was in The New Yorker about Kanye, but since then I haven't done that much mainstream things. Whereas Kiana is working in the mainstream media. Rolling Stone, NPR, The Fader, the list goes on, we mentioned Vibe. She also has a book coming out next year that's part of the big five publishing groups. Running Press is part of it. So she's a big part of the mainstream media. And so the thing that struck me was, and also with NPR, The Pop Culture Happy Hour, that featured me so kindly. That was just so generous of you. But the thing that struck me is she's out there also calling out the mainstream media, saying, what can we be handling better in this conversation? How would you address that?
Kiana: So, I feel like it's not my job necessarily, but it's a mission of mine to educate and to inform and to provide context, especially when it comes to mental health and mental illness. And I feel like mainstream media doesn't really have a grasp on this conversation yet. And that being said, most of the people who are leading this conversation about Kanye West, or Ye now as he is known, the people who are leading this conversation don't understand what he's going through. They've never had a manic episode, they've never been hospitalized. So I really just try to see my work as a call to action so people can really get an understanding of what this disorder is, how can it affect you, and how can it affect the people around you.
Dave: Yeah, and I think we are people who have the experience and I think media, we’ve talked about this, Media is supposed to mediate between the public and the subjects so that people can understand, and, sometimes, the mediation itself, as I think you're suggesting, you have to have a qualitative experience of something before you can actually do the work to mediate it. Because otherwise that mediation just potentially gets lost in translation. So, we're gonna play the TikTok, splice that in now:
Kiana (TikTok): We are staring directly into the face of one of the worst mental health breakdowns we've ever seen. This is hands down, one of the most challenging moments of my life, and I'm not even going through this episode myself. First things first, my goal is not to absolve this person of the things that they've done. Instead, my goal is to spread awareness and context and information that's accurate, as has been the case for who knows how many years we've been swimming in a sea of misinformation and stigma. So what do you think happens to the people who are actually living with mental health diagnoses? They feel like they have to hide it. They feel voiceless or they feel guilty by association. Ultimately what ends up happening is the people who have the most perspective, the greatest insights into what we're experiencing are shut down. I can only hope that we're on the precipice of a major conversation about mental health and wellness, but I really wanna talk about mental illness specifically. This is how I feel: The people who are leading this conversation are not qualified to lead. I wanna hear from the people whose diagnoses are the ones that are kept in the dark corners of this world. I wanna hear from the people who have been manic, who have been psychotic, the people who have been hospitalized. I wanna hear from the people whose lives have almost been destroyed by mental illness. That's who I wanna hear from. I don't wanna hear from the average Joe who's never experienced any of this before, who just is an armchair psychologist and has everything in the world to say, but no experience to back it up. I wanna hear from the people who are actually living this day in and day out. And the sad part about this shit is, I probably won't hear from many of those people because of how much stigma is attached to mental illness.
Dave: What are some of the things that we are missing if we're not having this experience? Maybe we could go through some of the things that we're seeing in ourselves, potentially in him, though we don't know what is in his mind, too, is another part of it. But what are people missing that we can maybe help illuminate here?
Kiana: So I feel like there are textbook symptoms that Kanye is exhibiting. Grandiosity, obviously that's always been a part of his personality, but it's very, very extreme at the moment. And he gets really excited when he speaks. He kind of veers from topic to topic, which is that excitability, that high-functioning brain chemistry, or whatever you wanna call it. And also just engaging in provocative, risky behavior and not even the traditional risky behavior that is associated with bipolar disorder, which is promiscuity, spending money, that kind of thing. I feel like he's being really risky with his social capital. With the way that he is moving throughout these spaces and having these conversations. He's losing money every day. So he may not be spending it, but he is losing it. So I think that's another way that he's kind of exhibiting those symptoms.
Dave: Yeah, and then it's also, there's the martyrdom thing that I think people can feel where it's like, I believe what I believe, and I know what I know. Cause I think what's hard for people to understand is when you're in that state, you just know, and it’s like a gnosis thing that I talk about. And I think we can get confused in that state where we think we know more than we know in an ominiscient way. We have a personal truth and we're very open in sharing that, whether or not that personal truth is gonna be right for you tomorrow or right for you yesterday, even five minutes ago. But sometimes you elevate that personal truth to a universal. And that's, I think, sometimes where it gets tricky, especially on a public platform. So, you say, this is what I believe, and this is also what everyone else should believe. And, I think the martyrdom thing is, I'm willing to, like you said, risk all my social capital. I've had those experiences on a much smaller scale. I don't know, maybe you could speak to what kind of decisions would you make like that?
Kiana: In my own experience, which is every single time that I've had a manic episode, a major manic episode anyway, because I've had several hypomanic episodes in addition to the big four that I've had. They were between 2016 and 2019. So every time I had those episodes, the first thing I wanted to do was rush to social media and tell everybody about my life, tell everybody about the wrongs that have been done against me. I wanted to sue every hospital that I had been in to. I had very strong feelings and I wanted the world to know it because I felt like a martyr or I felt like I was very self-important and also worldly, like worldwide important. I thought that the world was watching me. We can get more into the delusional aspects later, but I thought that I was on a reality show and I thought that everybody was watching me in the hospital. So there are a lot of things that I went through that I wanted to turn to social media and reveal. And I feel like I'm seeing that happen with him.
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Dave: Yeah, yeah, I mean the thing, too, is delusions of grandeur is a symptom, right? People probably know that. But just to be clear. So what if you are grandeur? Me and you, we have our own little worlds, your medium world, I'm a smaller world <laugh> We have some grandeur. But Kanye is someone who could believe that he could be President. During an episode in June I was on a plane for a little bit and for 10 minutes I had a pretty strong belief, I should be, I'm gonna be President one day. But if you have a level of grandeur, for lack of a better word, it's hard to tell someone that they shouldn’t believe that. And also as a society, we want people to have grandeur, to have delusions that then come true. I think that we try to instill that in people so they can survive, whatever, a capitalist system, or ambition that they wanna have, or just to make good things, make good things in the world. I was talking to this friend, this is kind of a joke story, but, imagine the person who had sticks, a caveperson who had sticks, and they put them out, they're like, Oh, you're just not helping. You wanna make fire outta these sticks, that's never gonna work. And they go out, they’re ostracized the way that some people can be ostracized. But then they make the fire and the others are like, Oh, wait a second. Come back in, come back in. Now we want your fire. But then there are times where that person will never make that fire and then who knows what's gonna happen. So it's very complicated. But, yeah, I mean another thing I wanna say is, do you have this experience, where you have episodes on meds? Cause I have episodes on meds now and it's like, what do you make of that and what do we make of this idea that Kanye's not taking his meds and therefore, well, we don't even know that. No one's saying and no one knows that for sure.
Kiana: Yeah, there's so much we don't know. We're just kind of assuming and guesstimating at this point. But yeah, I've definitely had episodes through medication and when I had those experiences, I was like, Oh snap, this means that I'm not supposed to be on meds because if I'm going through this anyway, clearly God is trying to talk to me and he's getting through any way he can. So that's how I feel whenever I'm going through episodes through medication. But yeah, in general, I feel like we don't know what Kanye is or isn't taking. He has never revealed, I mean he said the Lexapro line in a song off of The Life of Pablo.
Dave: The weight gain with the antipsychotics too.
Kiana: Yeah, exactly. And even his 2018 album, ye, which had, I hate being bipolar, it's awesome on the cover. He says, they take me on meds, off meds, bipolar is a superpower, I'm a superhero, it's not a disability. So I relate to all those things, especially as someone who is type one, who does experience the very extreme mania. I know what he's talking about. So when he said the medication on and off switch kind of thing, I was like, man, I've been through that, too. I've gone through periods where I've tried to go it alone and stay the course by myself and it didn't go very well for me. And then I've had moments where I've been on medication and I've had to take a pause from work and fly home and get over it on my own without being hospitalized. So there are so many different variations of the experience.
Dave: Yeah, that's the thing I think people don't get either too, is, I have a friend who had an episode but it was due to cannabis and things like that. And now they're not on medicine and they've recovered. And so we share science articles a lot of times that show that often the best outcomes are not staying on these meds. And I think people don't understand that, because, they just say, Take the pill. Take the pill. But there's all sorts of things that happen. Dementia. There's dementia and brain issues. And so if you take years of meds, you might have other kinds of brain issues that almost are the same thing as having a mental illness. You might have kinds of dementia where you're saying things that are even crazier.
Dave: But so I think this kind of judgment that I think we're seeing. There's so many aspects of judgment coming on the situation. And I understand why that happens because there are real-world effects for other people. Besides this person. Whereas for me, there are real world effects, but it's more contained within our communities or friendships or families. But so I think one of the things we're seeing is there's polarizing reactions and not much subtlety. What would you say as a media person? How would you illuminate some of the subtlety?
Kiana: So number one, I'm not defending Kanye at all. I don't agree with anything he said regarding antisemitic comments or anything like that. But I do know that when I have my own episodes, I become very, very, very militant. I care a lot about the Black struggle, Black uplifting, I care about reparations. I am very, very in tune with, I like to say, my ancestors. I know that's kind of like, oh a little bit tricky to talk about that. But I just wanna be honest about what I feel and what I think I'm going through in those moments. And I feel like there is a lineage of people who have been through so much, living in my bones, and they are trying to communicate and they are trying to get their message out. And for that reason, I feel like whenever I am having episodes, I become very, aside from the hypomania, when I'm all loving and obsessed with oneness and everything like that, once I hit actual mania, that's when I become aggressive. When I become irritable, that's when I become very much like us versus them. And in this situation, them is white people. It's not necessarily Jewish people, I've never had a specific sentiment about that, but it is very much like F white people. My first episode was like, we have to save everybody, we have to come together, we have to all be one people. And then my second episode and beyond was like, Nah, scratch that. We're not doing it that way. So that's how my experience went.
Dave: Yeah, I mean I think it's a process of the different, you know, you have the love and you go back to judgment. And for me, too, for me it is a Jewish Christian thing. And it's gonna sound weird. I know when we played the TikTok you talked about people risking stigma. But. I've written four Jewish books. Humor books. But. I also am really into Christianity. It was really, really important in my metanoia I call it. Basically losing my dad led to a lot of growth and I associate that with the Holy Spirit. One thing I like to talk about is that I think the spirit moves through us. The spirit was moving through you the first time with love. The second time with some righteous indignation. But that's part of the human experience and the spiritual experience. But I would vacillate in a way, where, I would, honestly, I would say very antisemitic things to friends and believe them. And for periods of time in episodes as recently in June actually when I shut down the Substack. Something that came up was that us versus them thing where it was the Christians, they have the Holy Spirit and they're not neurotic and they understand that everything has a purpose and there's not the same fear and anxiety and everything's gotta be done with time and space and the contracts and it's just kind of trusting God and the love and everything will be fine. And so there are historical reasons that these ideas come out. I mean they're in the New Testament, and the Old Testament. And there's also just in people's books. So it's, I don't know, it's hard to have these conversations, right? Cause I mean even us now, we're risking, we're risking things. I'm risking things by saying all of this.
Kiana: Yeah, absolutely.
Dave: And it's confusing because it's like how can you be a Jewish person but also be antisemetic and how can you be anybody, and also not be hatred if you have hatred moments. And I think maybe media people who have neurodiversity and have moments of hatred in their hearts, they don't share it sometimes. Or maybe they don't do the work to even know it. Or they just don’t share it. I don’t know. I mean I think this all leads into the conspiracy theories too and cult ideology that we're seeing a lot of people get influenced by. And then it comes out, the ideas get, I dunno, it's a fine line. I don't know, what do you think about what I'm saying? I’m obviously ranting in a potentially Kanye hypomanic-type way, <laugh>, but that's part of the experience. I don't know what to say. I'm also, I was working at a day job all day. I'm functioning. It's part of who we are. We're human. I think that's what we're trying to say.
Kiana: Yeah, absolutely. This is a human experience. And while not everybody is going to experience extreme mania. I think everybody goes through a moment of heightened awareness or elevated energy. I think anybody can relate to that. But I do wanna say that I feel like when I have been manic, I have said things, not only against white people, but also other people of color. And that's not something I'm proud of. Because I see myself as a very well-informed, knowledgeable, good person. But when you're manic, you just say things. Yeah, sometimes it comes from other people, sometimes it comes from a TV show. I know when I'm manic I repeat and I parrot things that I've heard in music, in pop culture, in my household growing up. I say things that I have never said myself. So I don't know if that's what he's doing, but I just wanna make that clear that just because someone says something, it doesn't mean it's coming from an informed space. And it doesn't mean it's coming from their personal perspective. They might just be in the throes of an episode and just be saying whatever comes to their mind, which could be anything.
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Dave: I mean, is this also a spectrum? I think we talked about this briefly. I'm reading this book, Yoga, by this French autobio-fiction writer. And the idea of the best meditation is no thoughts. And the best writing is every thought imaginable, all at all once, all at the same time. And so are we overvaluing thoughts with these kinds of thought-capturing things? Do we have to be beholden to every thought of ours that's been recorded and put out? Is this a bigger problem beyond mental health issues? What do you think of it?
Kiana: I was just talking to my sister about this earlier. How we're at a point in history and a point in time where we are so hyper-aware of every single thing that's happening in every corner of the world. And that does not make for good mental health. And I feel like the constant documentation, the constant reposting and reposting and reposting of what so and so said or did is just ingrained in our minds as normal now. And this is not an ideal normal. I don't want to know what Kanye is doing every hour of every day. That is something I could do without. And I feel like, I don't know when he first started exhibiting symptoms of mania, but I do remember being younger, being in high school and in college when he was really popular and well, <laugh>, he was really popular, <laugh>, me being, I don't agree with everything he says, but I only would see a snippet of what he had to say. Social media wasn't really a big thing in 2006 or when College Dropout came out in 2004. At that time all I heard was what was on the record and some media quotes here or there. And now it's like this man can hop on Instagram, might get restricted, hop on Twitter, get restricted, but he can still hop on these platforms and speak his mind anytime. And it's not ideal because I can't speak to his health, but I can only see what I see in myself. And I know when I'm going through an episode, I do very similar things. And the last thing I need is a microphone in my face.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. OK. So there's a story I'm debating relating. And one of the things I wanted to do with the Shuffle Synchronicities podcast is, like, do some live shuffles. I think that'd be really fun for me and for you and whoever comes on and audiences.
Dave: When we booked this, there was an Elvis, there's a song about Elvis [that I shuffled to right after hanging up the phone with you] called “Elvis Presley Blues” by…I'm trying to think of the singer. It was-
Kiana: Tom Jones.
Dave: Tom Jones, yeah.
And it's all about Elvis's decline. It's all about the day that he died.
I was thinking that night about Elvis
Day that he died, day that he died
I was thinking that night about Elvis
Day that he died, day that he died
And just thinking about him as he's declining.
He was all alone in a long decline
Thinking how happy John Henry was that he fell down and died
When he shook it and he rang like silver
He shook it and he shine like gold
He shook it and he beat that steam drill, baby
Well bless my soul, bless my soul
He shook it and he beat that steam drill, baby
Well bless my soul, what's wrong with me?
And it ends with this phrase, “Well bless my soul, what's wrong with me? Well bless my soul, what's wrong with me?” And my dad loved Elvis as a child. I talk about Springsteen a lot with him. But he also loved Elvis. And people in my life are, like, Why do you care about Kanye right now? People have told me that. Why do you still care about this person? And it’s because his music meant so much. And then also he's the most public person with our experience potentially. We can't define that exactly for him. But we're bound to see ourselves in his experience and want to at least understand for him and for ourselves what is going on and why. Is that how you feel?
Kiana: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I feel very strongly about it, especially as someone who is Black, as someone who has lost a mother. Someone who is bipolar or has bipolar disorder. I feel like there are so many commonalities between us. And before he even revealed his diagnosis, I knew he was bipolar. I just, I remember, I wrote in a journal, I was like, I hear Kanye calling my name or something like that. And I always have felt an attachment and an affection for him because I know what it's like to be misunderstood. I know what it's like to feel like you've been abandoned. And I know what it's like to be in a situation that you have to fight your way out of. And all those things I think make him relatable to me. And I know so many people can't say that. I'm very aware of that. I can't force anybody to see him the way that I see him. But what I can do is what hopefully I'm doing with this conversation, with my TikTok, with my Twitter threads that go viral or whatever. My goal is just to provide context. I just want people to understand what's going on here. And that, yes, he is an asshole. Yes, he's provocative. We know that. We've been knowing that. But can we not look at the past handful of years and see that they are markedly different from the years before that?
Dave: Yeah. Okay, well, let's come back to that. But I'm, I'm gonna try this shuffle. Because there's a story I want to tell about how this is all intersecting in my life in a way. I'm trying to decide. One thing about the ethics of the Shuffle going forward is I got too heated with writing about people in my life without their consent honestly. And so I'm trying to do this thing called post-memoir where you're just trying to keep the details of the subjects besides yourself out of the story much as possible.
Dave: And try to just extract the truth in the greater story and not so much the memoir details. So I'm looking for, what I like to do when I shuffle is look for insight. I kind of ask a question and just look for some insight from the shuffle. So I guess what I'm wondering is how much detail should I give in this conversation that I'm about to bring up? And so that's what I wanted to ask is just how much should I share on the personal level or how much should be a universal level? I got my Liked Songs playlist. It's got 88,000 songs and I’m going to play it on the phone because I think that's the best way to record with the Zoom stuff. We'll see what happens. How much should we talk about this?
It’s taking a while.
Kiana: Is this normal?
Maybe it’s saying, Don't do the shuffle. I don't know. Maybe I didn't press the button properly <laugh>
Dave: There's a lot of songs now. So. The suspense is. We might have to shorten the suspense. I'll press it again. It's weird. This is really weird, huh?
Dave: I pressed it again. Let's see.
Alright, maybe I'll try it on my computer? If it's not working on my phone.
I'm gonna move over to the computer. So this is not it. I'm just gonna get off the, that's not it. Okay. I’ll set the intention again. Sorry, I'll cut this out. Or maybe not. Maybe it's funny, right?
Dave: So now I'm gonna think again about how much should I be talking about this particular story that's coming up? Here we go. Wow. Still not shuffling. This is like.
Kiana: What does it mean?
Dave: This is something, I don't know, what to make of this.
Kiana: It’s very curious.
Dave: Oh, here we go! Something came out. A Wes Montgomery song called “Four on Six”.
Dave: Okay so that's like a jazz musician. Four on six. Four on six. Okay. So to me what associations I'm feeling with this, as the jazz plays, is… The Enneagram. Four and Six are numbers out of the Nine numbers. And Six is a very, how I feel at work, which is security, logistics, responsive, get the day job stuff done. Four is the energy of self-revelation and the energy of just revealing your, it's very much a memoir energy. I thought I was a Four, but really I’m more of a Seven, it seems, but. Four on Six. So it's basically saying I’m weighing what I care about. And that's been what's going on in a way is I much more care about this work than day job work. They probably know that. <laugh> I mean, it's okay to say I think. But so yeah. Four on Six. So I just gotta be relatively me somewhere in the middle? So basically what I'll say is I have a day job. And. How do I say this? <laugh> So I have a day job where I work in the entertainment industry. And a leader in the company spoke out about what’s going on, what's going on with ye, and it's kind of galvanized people. I mean, it would've been galvanized anyway, I don't know. And as a response, there's been a feud between the two of them. And on Wednesday. I work at this day job, I manage a screening room and there's like a lobby that's the front-facing lobby of the building. I mean, people go up to the third floor to the regular lobby, but the people who don't know where they're going, they sometimes go to this other lobby that I manage. And there's not really a security guard. I mean there's security around the building, but there's not security like right out front. So I'm doing a screening. And. This is probably too personal, huh?
Dave: And someone comes in and says, we gotta, are the doors locked? And so the doors are locked. But then they’re telling me that there's someone. Who called in a threat to the building that we work at. And the threat is associated with, it's not associated literally with ye, as in sent by him, but just someone is saying, as a result of this public feud, I want to come and do something to your place of business. And so we closed the office for the day. And it was scary…All these kinds of emotions were happening where, the ramifications of what a bipolar person can say potentially in this kind of state that then gets out there in the public and then people pick up on it and it comes back from other people. At the same time, I dunno how to say this either, and maybe I won't keep this in, but it's, like, I don't love how we treated, I mean not just the person, just anybody in the media, in the sense of, it's different when someone's going through an episode, it’s different. What you're gonna do to them financially or whatever. I think if someone's going through a mental health crisis, you can press pause on their business or something like that. I don't know. I'm not a business person. I work in a screening room. I'm a writer. I’m doing podcasts for a second here <laugh> but yeah. How can we advise entertainment leaders about how to deal with this either as media people or as mental health advocates? Maybe no one's gonna ask me, but maybe you, or maybe me, too, who knows? But what would you advise entertainment leaders to do with this situation, I guess? Is that OK to say?
Kiana: Yeah. Yeah, that's a fair question. And I kind of wanna tell a story about what I've been through. So I used to work for this hip-hop media company in Manhattan. I had my second episode in the office. And I was saying things that didn't make sense. I was irritable. I was on edge. I wasn't myself. And they knew that something was off. So I was in one of the leaders’ offices and they were just kind of like, Okay, so can you explain to us what's going on with you? Has this happened before? And I was like, Yeah, it's happened before. Having had an episode. I didn't know it was an episode. I was just in the cloud. It's like, Oh yeah, God has spoken to me like this before. Yeah, this is his return or whatever. And what they did was and I'm very grateful for it. I don’t know if this is legally what they should have done, but what they did do, was they gave me an opportunity to call my sister, who is pretty much my next of kin at this point. And she explained to them that I had been through a manic episode before. We didn't know what it was, but, clearly, it's something that needs to be managed. So they were like, Okay, well we're gonna take her home, we're gonna sit with her for a while, and then we're gonna leave her, and then come back and see her tomorrow. So even though that wasn't a perfect plan, because I ended up going back to work the next day. They did surround me and try to make sure that number one, that I was okay and that I wasn't just left to my own devices. And two, they reached out to my loved ones and they tried to see what's something that we can do for her in the moment. And so long story short, I ended up having a friend hop on a bus from DC to New York to come stay with me for a night. And then she ended up taking me to a hospital. And that's how that episode ended, was me staying in that hospital for about a month. But I think the key part here is I was surrounded by people who had good intentions and I wasn't left to just fend for myself. And I feel like that's what's happening right now for Ye, is he's literally fighting for his life right now. And we may not see it that way, because he's still being witty or he's still being annoying or whatever word we wanna insert there. But he is still going through a crisis. And from the visibility of it, the optics, it doesn't look like anybody is trying to help, or if they are trying to help, they are not being received with openness to that help. So I think that's something that, yeah, I just want people to try to do something and to not automatically be punitive in action because I feel like that is exacerbating this situation.
Dave: I know when, I mean, you could speak to this, too, when you feel that energy, it's a very, we talk about us versus them thing, and you can divide the binaries in many different ways, but it's very much a love versus fear, anger, the bad emotions versus the good emotions. So if someone's giving you that bad energy, when you're in that state, how do you respond? I mean, I know how I respond, but how do you respond?
Kiana: I'm ready to fight. I'm ready to go. I'm like, How dare you not respect me and my godly aura? You know what I mean? I'm like, I'm trying to bring peace to this world and you're meeting me with up energy. Why are you doing this? So I just become very, very oppositional. I become very defensive. I feel like the world is against me. And I feel like that's okay because God is on my side and I'm gonna show everybody and I'm gonna prove everybody wrong in the end. And I feel like that's how he feels right now.
Dave: And I think the other thing to say is. OK, so, even with the post-memoir stuff. I’ll say. I wrote in the first year, I'm just gonna say, I've been divorced. And I lost my dad. I have my mom, my mom's very supportive, and she's a psychologist, and she helps me a lot. But the idea that he's alone. I mean, not literally, no. But this idea of when you lose your, I mean, I didn't have kids, but when you lose your family in that way, it can take years. I was talking to someone who has a famous godfather at work yesterday. And they're describing a situation that happened to them. And I don't think this person was diagnosed with it, but she was, like, Yeah, he was crazy for three years. That's just from a divorce. And so you add that on top of it. And. And I think one thing we talked about is, when someone dies, I think, can you go through the chronology of, because we both, I had my dad pass, and that totally changed my life, I didn't have really a major episode between 21 and 35, until that happened, and I went deep into inner work right as it was happening maybe two months later, for the first time really. So can you talk about, so your experience was similar in certain ways, you wanna share? Is that okay? Or?
Kiana: Yeah, for sure. So my mom passed away in 2009 and I was 19 years old. I'm 33 now. So she passed. And I kind of had to be the strong one for the family. And even though I'm the baby, it was very much like, I'm the glue. I gotta pick up the pieces and figure out how is our family gonna move forward. So I didn't really have time to grieve. And then aside from that, I was also in college. I was going into my junior year, I believe, and I was also, I was doing things that I never expected to do it. It was pills. I was just doing Ambien. It was so stupid. But I'm glad that that's in my past. But that was a part of my phase of getting over. It was just like, I'm just gonna numb the pain. So I didn't really deal with that death until I started going to therapy in 2016. And that was the year that I had my first episode. And it was doing a lot of emotional work, a lot of forgiving of myself, forgiving of my mother for leaving when I wasn't ready for her to leave. And I remember there was a session with my therapist where I remember sobbing and I was, like, I thought I was over this, it's been X amount of years, how am I not over this? And she was like, It's okay, you can still grieve at any time in your life. And that was something that I didn't really take into account. So that's the last therapy session that I remember. And then almost immediately after that, I had my episode and I was like, I remember being in the hospital and talking to my roommate there and being like, Oh, you're such a great therapist. I thought she hypnotized me. I was like, Oh wow, I'm working through all these issues and this feels like a real world scenario, not knowing that I was actually in a mental institution. So yeah, that's how that manifested for me.
Dave: Yeah, I mean. I think that's the thing. Is. The Work. Everybody talks about The Work. The Work is messy <laugh> In June, when I had the thing, when I brought down the Substack, I, I'm gonna write about it, but it was really messy, but really healing, Going through it, it affected people, some people negatively and some people positively and sometimes both. And one of the things that came out of it is a lot of healing. But at the same time, I literally said antisemetic things to people that I was also in process of healing with. And I don't know how to say it. But The Work is messy. And when you have someone on a public scale like this doing the work, it's almost endless. It's endless work. So in June, the episode, I didn't think that I was having an episode. I thought that I might have had an episode and I agree now that that's true, but I also think it was necessary. And I think that's, that there was a Holy Spirit element that the Holy Spirit wanted me to go do something with this episode. And let it happen and let the chips fall where they may. And maybe that's the wrong thing. Maybe that's again the martyrdom thing. But I think in the long run it did help me and it help other people even though it was very painful in the short term. And I can't apply that generally to everything. But I think in this particular circumstance, it was true. But I think there is something that people don't get where they're like Why can't this person see that they're maybe ill right now? And I think, my friend and I joke, it's, like, a symptom is literally you don't know that you're going through symptoms essentially. I mean there's shades of it. It could be a hundred percent you don't know. It could be a hundred percent you do know. Or it could be somewhere in between. And so it's like telling someone don't, not just, like, don't ignore your heart attack. It's telling someone don't have the heart attack. Because it's a symptom that you don't know that you're having symptoms sometimes. Has that been your experience? Have you had that experience yourself? And how do you mediate that now for the future? Or, yeah, what would you recommend there?
Kiana: Yeah. So. I have very much been in the midst of an episode and felt like there was nothing wrong. I thought that, and I, I've lost people in my life because I've been hypomanic or on the verge of manic. And I refused to believe it and they refused to deal with me until I fessed up to it. And even after the situation passed, I was still so proud that I was like, I'm not ever gonna talk to this person again, because I feel like I didn't go through anything. But looking back a few years later, I'm like, Oh yeah, I was definitely going through something. So in general, I feel like when I manic, I feel like the most at peace and I feel the most connected to myself and to the world and to my loved ones. Even though I'm not in the ‘right’ mindstate, I feel like I am. And I feel like I have the ability to bring people into my world and help them to ascend with me. And that's my goal. I want people to be where I am energetically, emotionally, et cetera. So that's how it manifests for me.
Dave: Or to bring them into your healing work that you're doing in with them. The thing is, Everybody else around you experiences you as chaotic. But then internally it's the most least chaotic feeling. It's not chaotic at all. Whereas when I'm neurotic and depressed or anxious in the normal way, that people might have experienced me in the past, or sometimes still now, it still happens now and then <laughs> That's not chaotic for them, potentially. And that's, why, it's, like, it's difficult, I dunno-
Kiana: It's so weird! It's so weird.
Dave: It’s so weird.
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Dave: So. I don't know. It's also. People in my life who I talk to about this sympathetically, it's, like, he's (ye’s) just living the manic life. It's a complete manic life. And when you're in that manic state, that's what you wanna do. You just wanna live indefinitely in the manic state. And so, I don't know. The Elvis song that I talked about. I read a critique of it by a music critic, and the general idea is that we flame out. People who live hard, who live the way they want to, they're gonna flame out, potentially. So it's that Six versus Four thing for me. It's like, do I want to be in this conversation saying basically what comes to mind most of the time? Or do I want to hesitate and just worry basically about what, how everything's gonna land? How do we wanna live? And again, you could look at that as manic, or you look at that as just in a spectrum of being you, I don't know. So yeah, I mean, I think what I wanted to do for sure and maybe next is, I would love to do a shuffle with Kiana, if you're open to it?
Dave: So I think what we talked about is maybe, you could, if you wanted to talk about your book, because I think that's coming out soon, your book's coming out next year? If you wanted to talk about it. And use a shuffle in order to reflect more on it?
Kiana: Yeah, that's totally fair. I'm trying to figure out which playlist I should shuffle. Because I have downloaded songs on my phone and then I have, Oh, maybe that's what I should do. Let's see. Well.
Dave: I also wanted to say, I think when we do this, I wanted to hear kind of how you view music when you're manic. Because I know you mentioned that on the NPR that you have a similar relationship to music when you're manic. So maybe we could talk about that as well as when we're doing this shuffle of, what does that look like for you?
Kiana: Yeah. Okay. So shuffle, then talk about that? Or talk about that then shuffle.
Dave: What do you think?
Kiana: I would like to talk about it then shuffle so I don't forget.
Dave: Perfect <laugh> Thank you. For the leadership here <laugh>
Kiana: Yeah, no problem! So when I am manic the first, last, and only thing I wanna do is listen to music. I do talk to people a little bit here and there, but where I wanna be, is in my headphones just listening to music. And when I'm going through these episodes, I tend to find patterns, or synchronicities, or what have you.
Kiana: And it feels like the universe is communicating with me. I'll like, I'll, I'm trying to think of an example maybe we'll get into one later, but, just, in general, I feel like I'll listen to a song and I'll be writing in my journal and I'll hear the exact word that I'm writing out as I'm listening to the music. And so that's always an indication that I'm in a synch. But also, I want, as I said earlier, I want to envelop other people in to this space with me. So I tend to share a lot with my family and friends. I know that when I was most recently hospitalized in October, 2019, I had no music in the unit. So I was just remembering songs. And my sister would visit me. And the moments that I do remember are me writing down songs on Bible pages for her and ripping it out of the Bible and giving it to her, like, Listen to this, you have a mission. You have to hear the song the way I hear the song. And then my brother as well, I remember one of my first episodes, I was just like, Okay, I'm gonna send you this album. Listen to this album. Call me back. Tell me what you hear. Like, I just am very, very intensely focused on music, especially hip-hop.
Dave: Yeah, I mean, do you see the synchronicities and the patterns, when you're ‘normal’? Or, can you integrate that experience and make it work within the ‘normal’ self?
Kiana: Yeah, definitely. I definitely see little synchs here and there. I see patterns and I'm like, Oh, that was cute. But I'm not like, Oh my God, what's going on? I'm not as intensely focused on it. But I definitely do have moments in normal life where I see, and I hear, and I feel it.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. Well, so, if you wanna shuffle in relation to the book, or if you wanna shuffle in relation to something else, it's your choice. You can set your own intention, too, if you don't wanna talk about it in terms of the book. So this is up to, whatever you wanna do there?
Kiana: Okay. All right. I'll shuffle and then I'll see where it takes me.
Dave: Yeah, let's do it!
Kiana: Okay. Let's see. I guess I will do downloaded songs. Let's go ahead and shuffle you…
Okay. So it starts out a little quiet but this is a song called, Shoot, Let me turn it down a little bit. This is called, “Yeah Yeah” by Young Nudy.
Kiana: Nudy is an Atlanta rapper, East Atlanta. He's 21 Savage’s cousin. So he is someone that I listen to a lot, a great deal. And my sister and I listened to him in the car. Anytime we're going somewhere we're getting ready. And <laugh> I remember this song actually went viral on TikTok earlier this year, last year. And we were obsessed with it before it went viral. So I'll pause it. But, yeah, so I was like, what are the odds that this one song from years ago goes viral on TikTok? I was like, Oh, I know, that's a synch right there. That's a synchronicity. So this song is very much a part of my building a relationship with my sister through listening to him all the time. And then also, just, it was really exciting to see him go viral because I do adore his music, but I never thought he would go viral, because he's not like a Drake or, a 21, or anyone like that. He's very low-key. He's very underground. But the people who know, know about him.
Dave: Is that also speaking to your work on TikTok? Is that okay for me to say?
Dave: Because that's a medium that I think you're thriving and going viral in. And then the way, so you're basically saying that, this rapper wouldn't have been as popular as he is without TikTok. Is that kind of what? Or had this moment at least?
Kiana: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And he has, he's had some follow-up songs go viral as well. But this is the first one. This is the first one that went up and I was just shocked. I have chills right now. I was just thinking about it because I never saw it coming. Like, I said, it's an older song. It is. It's kind of ridiculous, the things that he says. I'm sure you'll hear it when you listen to it later.
Your bitch wanna fuck
Oh yeah, yeah
Oh yeah, yeah
Dave: Yeah, yeah.
Kiana: But he's just a very entertaining, very whimsical rapper. And actually, I'm remembering something else. I was interviewed by another music journalist who has bipolar disorder and she asked me who my favorite rapper was at that time, and it was Young. And I said that I love the way that she wrote that she enjoys the way he bends words in his mouth. And I was like, that's so weird to say, but I agree. So yeah, I think there are a few little tentacles here of why I appreciate Nudy. But yeah, that's on brand <laugh>
Dave: And also this conversation is very, we're just, we're being very nude in the way that is like-
Dave: This is behind the curtains. But that's why podcasts are so great. And what your work on TikTok is so great for. I think you are, you're putting yourself out there, and people are responding. I look at the notes, comments, and it's a community.
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Dave: You mentioned a bipolar writer, a bipolar music writer. We'll talk about your book next. But when we talked. We had an idea. We should maybe get a bunch of bipolar writers to pick out a bipolar musician and make a chapter and edit it together.
Dave: We could maybe move that to the end <laugh> maybe move that out, I wanna do your book first, is what I'm trying to say <laugh> Yeah, so you have the TikTok platform and then you're on the mainstream NPR and on Rolling Stone. And so you got this book deal. Can you tell me about the process behind the book deal and what your vision is? And if you wanna share more, what it’s about? It's called: Ode to Hip Hop: 50 Albums That Define 50 Years Of Trailblazing Music. And to me, I was like 50 years of hip hop? That's, like, it feels long, but it's not <laugh> It really is that long. It's been a long time now. Yeah. So can you talk to us about the book?
Kiana: Yeah, I would love to share. So the way this book came into existence is, just to be honest, I was just going on about my life and I got a cold email from my editor, Ada, and she was like, Hey, I know this is really random, but I love your writing voice and I think you would be a very, very strong choice for this book that I have in mind. So she already kind of knew that she wanted to do a book around the anniversary of hip-hop in 2023, but she didn't have a writer, and she didn't really have that much direction. So, she was like, What do you think? Do you wanna talk about this And I responded to her the same day, and I think we hopped on a video call the same day, and we were just like, Let's talk. Yeah. And then beyond that the more we talked, the more I was like, I'm down, I'm down, I'm down. And eventually it got to a point where contracts and lawyers and all that stuff were involved and we got down to the nitty-gritty and now I have a book coming out. So yeah, it's been a heck of a process.
Dave: The history with your mom is also so related to hip-hop. I know in the Shuffle guest post you said that so much of that relationship's history is through hip-hop.
Dave: Is that part of the book? Are you talking about your history in hip-hop? Or is it about, How would you describe the genre, or the way you're writing?
Kiana: Yeah, so, it's more about the music itself. I did ask, I was like, Can this be personal narrative? Because I would love to do that. But it's more about the albums, the artists themselves, which I completely am down for, and I completely respect that decision. But, yeah, my mother, she was obsessed with hip-hop. She was born in 61, so she was about 12 when hip-hop first came around. And she would tell me stories about how she would discover the artist that she grew up to. And my brother who was born in 81 would tell me stories about how he learned hip-hop through her. And then of course my sister, she's a year older than me, and then I came along and my mom, I remember just riding through in a old Hooptie, a beat up old car, just riding through the country, outskirts of my hometown, listening to UGK, which is a Texas hip-hop group. And those are some of my fondest memories, just riding in this raggedy old car with my family, listening to songs that I still hold dear today. So I think in the future I would love to write something more personal, but this book is more about how can I relate these albums to the artists and how can I share that context with people who love these albums as well.
Dave: Yeah. Is there one album in particular from, or a certain year, an album that really struck you as, Oh, this is the one I'm so happy to be bringing to light like that? Maybe. Are there some that are less well known, or are they all, do people already know them? What are the different kinds of albums that are, in the 50?
Kiana: Yeah. So I don't know if I can speak about a specific album yet. I think the landing page for the book is gonna come out soon, so they'll have every album on there. But for now, I will say there are quite a few albums that are like, canon. They're just, like, they are what they are. They had a huge impact on hip-hop, and that just is what it is. But there are some that I did get in there, where I'm very proud. Women. There are quite a few women listed who aren't really included in traditional hip-hop conversations. And yeah, I, I'll leave it there. I don't wanna-
Dave: No, great. Yeah, no, no, that's important. Yeah. I love talking to you. I could talk to you for forever <laugh>
Dave: But, let's see, I'm just going through the notes here to see if we, I know we were hopping around a little bit. I'm sorry about-
Kiana: It’s OK! You're learning. This is part of the process.
Dave: <laugh> Yeah. You gotta learn by doing, right?
Kiana: Exactly, exactly.
Dave: …OK, I think [this is] a good question. Where is that one again?
Kiana: That's under Four E question slash topic two, and then it's Roman three, or whatever the fuck that is. Sorry <laugh>
Dave: <laugh> Yeah, yeah. Right. Okay. Let's do that question. That's a good one. Yeah. Right. Okay…We're talking about how Kanye is alone, potentially. And who can take care of someone. You talk, you mentioned how people in your family took care of you.
Dave: People in my family have done that. Friends have done that. This idea of conservatorship, I, I've heard this question asked. If Kanye was a woman, his talent, would he be under a conservatorship right now? Or would he have been at some certain point? Can you speak to that? What are your thoughts on that?
Kiana: Yeah, it's very complicated. I would say, I think there are a couple factors that are included here, and I think one of those is, I hate to, I'm not trying to make this a race thing, but I'm thinking about people who have been placed under conservatorships, and they're not Black. You have Britney, you have whomever else. And I don't know if that's ever been a go-to solution for the Black community, especially for people who are very famous and very rich. But I do think if he were a woman, it would be much more seriously discussed. I think. Gosh, I'm just thinking about women who have had mental health issues, Black women, like actors and actress or actresses. And I'm-
Dave: Did Whitney have a moment where she was, or am I making that-
Kiana: I don't know if she was under a conservatorship. But that would be a perfect example. Like Maya Campbell, she's an actress and I can't remember what her specific diagnosis is, but she kind of just fell off the face of the planet and was deep into her own issues. And it was kind of, like, she was left by the wayside. And I don't know if that would happen to a Kanye, because he is a man and he is a very, very influential man. But yeah, I just, I'm thinking about, I feel like he would fight tooth and nail if anybody were to ever try to do that to him. I think he would take alternative routes and I don't know if, I can't speak for him, but-
Dave: Would you wanna be in a conservatorship? Let's say your book comes out, you're getting more viral, your career keeps blossoming, the way I can imagine it doing, and then you have an episode, and that becomes at jeopardy on some level? What would you want if you are in that version of yourself, what would you want?
Kiana: Yeah. So I feel like if I were in a situation where I had much more at risk and I had a much bigger public persona, I would strongly consider it. Especially because I do, it would be my sister. I trust her with everything. She's never steered me wrong. She's the only person who's always been there for me through every step of this way. So if I were to be unstable in such a way that I felt uncomfortable with controlling my own assets or my own financial career or what have you, I would want somebody else to do that for me. Not to say I would want somebody to control my life, but if I am not in a position where I am making rational decisions and I'm not listening to people who are trying to give me advice about how to conduct myself, maybe then I would do it. But that's kind of like a hypothetical. But yeah. What about you?
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Dave: I’ve sought out psychologists and psychiatrists who believe a lot in autonomy, because I think, and a friend just tweeted this to, or, sent me a tweet, and this is controversial probably, but this idea, this person who committed Kanye in 2016 is coming back into Twitter stuff right now for sending some more texts that were like, Hey, we can do this the easy way, or I can lock you up and Zombie you. I dunno if you saw-
Kiana: Yeah, I saw that.
Dave: So, unfortunately, I don't know if it's your experience, but I've seen people a little bit like that. I like, saw people, psychiatrists, real people, who in my journey, to find the right people to work with, who’d talk to you in versions of that way. I mean, I can't say, I think maybe Kanye, maybe he's talking to them that way because that's like how Kanye likes to confront, or be confronted sometimes. Maybe that's helpful in some way, maybe it's out of context. But it's also, there is this idea that doctors know better than the person who is the patient. And I just don't believe that anymore. Because I think that the patient is ultimately in control of their life, and to the fullest extent. And there's studies, I mean, I can show the links.
Dave: But the basic study is the outcomes are actually better. This is gonna sound weird. The outcomes are better, for the people not on medicine. And I know you can probably find studies from both sides, but there are real studies that are showing that. Especially in the developing world. And we have to take that into account. Take into account what he's saying. At this point, I can't speak for you, but I'm on the side of, I'm trying to go down on medicine. I don't know if you, I look a lot better because I'm not all this weight. I feel better. There are reasons to be on lower medicines or less medicines. And I want more autonomy in my life, and I want, there needs to be conversations where it's not, my people are conversing about me and then are like, Okay, this is what's happening to you. I think I have enough reason so far in all my experiences where I can have a conversation and make decisions together. But again, I guess, I don't know how bad it could get in terms of, because you were saying you had times where you were, you had no memory. That's an extreme. That I can't say I've had. And again, these are all the variabilities of the human experience and I guess the bipolar experience. So…
Kiana: There are definitely moments that I don't recall, and some of that, most of that, is due to severe medication. I feel like I was, the whole zombie comment that person made, I was like, Oh God. It just made me feel some type of way. Because I have been very, very manic to the point where there is no other choice. I've had an injection in my buttocks, I've been there, so I know what it's like to be Zombiefied or whatever the phrase was. And it's not fun. It's not pretty, or memorable, or it is, but I can't remember it. And-
Dave: Or it’s the worst memory you'll ever have <laugh>
Kiana: Yeah, exactly. I remember getting the injection in that specific situation, and then I don't remember anything for about a week or two. And then finally I started to come back to myself and I'm like, Oh wow, I'm here again. I don't ever wanna end up in a situation like this again. So I definitely don't wanna be on medication for the rest of my life. I know that, that is what most of us are told to do if we wanna curb it and keep it at bay. But I don't know if I wanna have kids, but if I do, I'm gonna have to figure this out because the meds that I'm on are very, very dangerous to a fetus. So it's like, how will I figure that out? I'm sure with a doctor and a psychiatrist or what have you. But just the fact that I even have to deal with this, in general, is really frustrating. And I don't believe that meds are bad because they've helped me a lot. They've helped stabilize me and they've helped me keep episodes away for a few years now, but I’ve had issues with weight gain. I've had a full-body rash. I've had grogginess. Lack of creativity. I've had it all. So I definitely understand the folks who choose not to take it.
Dave: Yeah, it's a valid question. And I think when we take that question away from people, that's not fair. It's just putting 'em in a box or prison, whatever you wanna call it.
Dave: Do you wanna talk a little bit more, or do we wanna have a conversation more about race and religion? People have covered this, but I think you’d have a great perspective on this, is how Kanye said things about the Black culture and then nothing happened. And then when he said something about my, um, culture, whatever, then things are happening. Is that something you want to bring up, or do you feel like we could talk about that? Or?
Kiana: Yeah. I mean we can talk about it. I don't know if I have much to say just because it is what it is. But yeah, I feel like when certain groups are targeted, it's much more intensified. The reaction, the cancellation process, or whatever you wanna call it, when he's speaking about slavery was a choice, as he did a few years back, of course, there was backlash, there was anger, but, and there were consequences, many people decided they no longer wanted to support him, and many of them were Black. And as time has progressed, people are now saying, Well, I canceled him a long time ago. I didn't listen to him anymore. He gets no play in this house. And I'm like, Okay, I understand that. But now it's much more serious because there are I don't know how to explain it, but it's not an internal dialogue anymore. It's like, it's not just a conversation within the community. It's the entire world that is now listening in and being like, Oh, this dude is on something, or he's off something, or whatever way you wanna say it. Yeah. So it's just disheartening because I know folks in my personal life who have been extreme Kanye stans for their entire lives, and now they won't even touch 'em with a 10-foot pole because of this disorder. And I'm not saying it's only because of this disorder, but it's a huge part of it. And that's kind of like, I think where something is getting lost in translation, because it's not as simple as Kanye being Kanye. It's like, yes, he is who he is, but there's also something standing in the way of him getting his clear point across. And maybe if he was, I don't know, maybe he is completely stable right now. We just are unaware. We don't know. But I was saying earlier, there are textbook symptoms that I relate to very, very strongly. And that's why I think it's important that we're having this conversation.
Dave: Yeah. I'm gonna take, go on, a risk here, and just say something else is, I think it's really, as a Jewish person, I think it's really punitive sometimes, instead of, I think it's, it can be really punitive when people make mistakes, and even, it's like, I might have to cut this part out <laughs> But basically what I'm trying to get to is, there are things, there is truth within untruth. I think that's what happens in bipolar, is that there are true versions of what is happening and we're trying to make that truth come to light and it gets confused or it gets latched on in weird ways. But you look at the history of the entertainment industry. I was at the Academy (of Motion Picture Awards) Museum on Saturday. It was started by Jewish people in a big way. And so. Jewish people that I have read about have been, like, Well, they're not talking about that. And so it's, there's a reverse thing where it's like, Okay, well so do we want to talk about our pride in starting this film business, or do we want to take that narrative out so it's not known in a way that it would draw antisemitism or something like that? Or the history of business in the music industry. I mean, again, these are generalities, but there were a lot of Jewish businessmen. There still are. And then what happens I think, just from my own personal experiences, is, so there are some realities, then things happen in your personal life, but then you start connecting that to the realities and then go further into conspiracies.
Dave: Take Pete Davidson. It's whatever. But he's part Jewish. And this person is taking away your wife. I mean, we don't need to say that in that way. That's maybe what he's interpreting it as. People have their own choice. They can be in relationships or not. But so then you can see, to me, you can start to see some of these things that could happen, where you're like, okay, this White person, this Jewish person potentially, and you start categorizing that in your mind, and then you know, you look at people in your business life. And I can just see how things can go from reality, to personal, and then what I'll call a neologism, where it's just only you're making these connections that are, again, they're not really true, but there's still something true happening. And that happens to me too. I'll grab things from culture and then apply it in a strange way. So to say that person has hatred in their heart. That person is, Cancel them. It doesn't sit with me, as a Jew. And then maybe, because, I'm not saying I put bipolar first, but I think as a human, it doesn't sit with me to say, Well, you're out. And. I don't know. Again, like I said, I was at a place that was directly affected by these ramifications. So, I had that anger towards him, in that moment actually. And fear. And so I don't know the answer. I don't know the answer. But I just at least wanna say that.
Kiana: Yeah, absolutely. I wanna touch on you saying you don't necessarily put bipolar before being Jewish, but you do feel that level of attachment to it. Something that is a part of you. So I feel the same way. I wouldn't put it before my Blackness, but it is something that I feel has changed me. And I feel like it has changed the way that I interact with people. Not just from a mental health perspective, but a human perspective. I feel much more at peace with myself and I feel more loving toward other people. I just feel like I have nothing to lose. Not to be like, Yeah, I could be dead tomorrow. But what I'm saying is, I feel like the experiences that I have had, pushed me to a place where I understand much more deeply, what someone is going through, even if I haven't been through it myself.
Dave: Yeah, I think we need more of that, whatever it takes to get to that. Empathy, people use that word, sympathy. And I guess we do have to say again. Both responsibility and empathy. I think everything is a pole. Bipolar is a great word because everything is a pole. You have empathy and you have accountability. And where do things lie on that pole, and how do we manage that as a culture in communities? And so just having a conversation. We don't know the answers and, or, Well, we both don’t know the answers and we do know some answers.
Dave: Yeah, Yeah. I mean, I'll just say I think grace and understanding, and I think, that's a word that, it's a Christian word, grace, but it's also, there's gotta be Jewish words and there's gotta be every culture's words to say the same thing, which is this conversation needs grace. For me, probably especially.
Dave: Like, I probably said things that are gonna offend people in my life. Or not, I don't know. But I think we all need grace. And so I wanna thank you for coming on and just being you and sharing from the heart, and just saying whatever comes up. And I think that's what I was hoping to have in this conversation and I'm so thankful that you joined to do that.
Kiana: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really hope that folks will listen to this and listen to us and just get a different perspective on life. That's all I want.
Dave: Yeah, that's well said. And maybe we'll do one shuffle at the end.
Dave: Maybe I'll do it off-camera, or let's do it right now.
Kiana: Yeah, yeah, why not?
Dave: Let's see what happens. We'll play it out over the credits. All right. It’s happening.
…Let's see if it happens.
Kiana: Wait, am I? Or are you?
Dave: Shuffling? I'm shuffling. But it’s just taking so long. I don’t know what's going on-
Dave: Something is. I don't know.
Kiana: Has this ever happened before?
Dave: It can take a long time, maybe, when all the things are going at the same time? But-
Dave: We got a song! Called “Mia Cuerpo”.
Dave: Which I think means my body? My skin? It means, my skin, doesn't it? Cuerpo. Mia Cuerpo. Let's look it up.
Kiana: I feel like that means my bad or my apology. I might be lying though.
Dave: Well, that's Mia Culpa, which is-
Kiana: Oh, Okay.
Dave: Possible. Yeah, yeah. Okay. I mean that's also possible. Let me see if that's, That's funny. I mean that'd be great…Yeah, it means my body.
Kiana: Okay. My body. Okay.
Dave: And then it's by someone called El Inspector de La Salsa. So inspecting. Inspector. Anyway, we'll use this or not, but my body, Mia Culpa, both those things are in play.
Kiana: Yeah <laugh>
Dave: We'll wrap this up. Again, thanks for doing the first one and I'm gonna link to all of Kiana’s amazing work and her TikTok. And thank you so much, for doing this and supporting my growth, and I can't wait to see this book come out and everything else you do.
Kiana: Thank you. I appreciate you. I really do.
Dave: Okay. I do too. <laugh> We'll let it go there.
Thank you, Kiana!
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Decisions to manage bipolar moods without medication are frequently seen as a result of an individual׳s “lack of insight” into the nature of their problems (e.g. Yen et al., 2005). Clatworthy et al. (2009) also suggest that such decisions can be understood as the result of inaccurate concerns about the effectiveness and safety of medication. However, current research suggests that such concerns may not be wholly unfounded. A review of the effectiveness of the most frequently prescribed medications for Bipolar Disorder suggests that for each person who benefits from medication, 7–9 people do not (Kettler et al., 2011). This ratio should be considered alongside the severe side effects resulting from lithium (Grandjean and Aubrey, 2009, Markowitz et al., 2000), and from the newer atypical antipsychotic medications which are now commonly used (Serretti et al., 2013, Weinmann et al., 2009). Such research undermines the assumption that decisions not to use medication are indicative of a lack of insight or mistaken beliefs about medication’s effectiveness.
Robert Whitaker: “First, there were two studies by the World Health Organization that found that longer-term outcomes for schizophrenia patients in three “developing” countries were much better than in the U.S. and five other “developed” countries. This didn’t really make sense to me, and then I read this: in the developing countries, they used antipsychotic drugs acutely, but not chronically. Only 16 percent of patients in the developing countries were regularly maintained on antipsychotics, whereas in the developed countries this was the standard of care. That didn’t fit with my understanding that these drugs were an essential treatment for schizophrenia patients.
Second, a study by Harvard researchers found that schizophrenia outcomes had declined in the previous 20 years, and were now no better than they had been in the first third of the 20th century. That didn’t fit with my understanding that psychiatry had made great progress in treating people so diagnosed.”
Psychiatry has long promoted the long-term use of antipsychotics by stating that they reduce the risk of relapse. However, shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its report on early death among the “seriously mentally ill,” Martin Harrow published his study of the long-term outcomes of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, announcing that recovery rates were eight times higher for the off-med patients and that the off-med group was less likely to be suffering psychotic symptoms at each follow-up. Researchers in other countries have since reported similar findings, with recovery rates higher for those off antipsychotics, all of which has led to a questioning of the significance of the relapse studies as “evidence” for the long-term use of these drugs.