Following days of erratic and angry behavior and after abruptly canceling the remaining 21 dates on his Saint Pablo tour, West was hospitalized Monday after his personal doctor called 911, according to E! News. As of Wednesday, he was still at
Cynics might be excused for assuming "exhaustion" is just a Hollywood publicist's catch-all euphemism to tell the media while they and their clients decide what to divulge.
"'Exhaustion' can mean anything from something really serious or a press stunt, and the fact we don’t know any details from a family known for over-revealing makes people very suspicious," says former publicist-turned-gossip-writer (NaughtyGossip.com)
Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles who serves as a counselor on VH-1’s Family Therapy and Couple’s Therapy, concurs that it's "often suspect" when a celeb hospitalization for exhaustion or dehydration makes the news.
"Oftentimes, it’s a cover for either mental-health issues or substance abuse," she says. "And the fact that they have canceled 21 of his tour dates points to it being something other than exhaustion or dehydration. If it was, they’d let him sleep and they’d hydrate him and he’d go back to work.”
Although exhaustion is often cited to mask more serious problems, "this is a real disease," says Leonard Jason, a psychology professor at
Indeed, experts agree that exhaustion is a real illness, covering a multitude of symptoms, terms and causes of varying severity. It's recognized by medical insurance companies and the diagnostic manual published by the
Jason says the characteristics of exhaustion include cognitive confusion, such as impairment of memory and concentration, feeling sick after exercise, and "unrefreshing" sleep.
West is in good company in Hollywood, where overworked, stressed celebs have frequently pleaded exhaustion when checking in for medical care.
West's hospitalization comes after he ignited a Twitter storm last week by saying he "would've voted for Donald Trump" during a concert in Inglewood, Calif.
More recently, West, 39, cut his Saturday concert in Sacramento short after several songs, but not before calling out
According to People,
Mann suspects West's behavior has been "manic" and could potentially point to something like bipolar disorder.
"Typically, with those kinds of mental illnesses, anniversaries are particularly traumatic for them. Stress can be the thing that puts you over the edge," she says. "His wife’s been held up at gunpoint. It’s the anniversary of his mother’s death and it’s Thanksgiving. So there are a lot of stressors for someone who may not be in the best shape right now.”
Mann says West did the smart thing by checking into the hospital, where doctors can give him a proper diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan. "What he needs is ongoing therapy. I think that he needs to grieve the loss of his mother. I think he needs some help with stress management and I think he needs to address any underlying issues and possible mental-health issues that are going on and he needs to be evaluated for medication."
The reality is that as long as there are celebrities trying to balance personal lives with brutal production and promotional schedules, there will always likely be cases of exhaustion. So what can be done when the next bold-faced name seeks help?
Chappelle gave some prescient advice during his 2006 appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio: "The worst thing to call somebody is 'crazy.' It’s dismissive.'“I don’t understand this person, so they’re crazy.' It’s (expletive). Because people are not crazy. They’re strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick."
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester