Kim Kardashian West has issued a powerful statement following concerns about the mental health of her husband, hip-hop star Kanye West, and has appealed for "compassion and empathy".

Concern has mounted for West, who is bipolar, following a series of now-deleted tweets he posted and the recent announcement of his US Presidential bid.

In a statement on her Instagram stories, Kardashian West wrote: "As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows know incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I've never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye's right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.

"Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have [sic] to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try."

Screengrabs: Kim Kardashian West, Instagram

"I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions," she continued. "He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times [sic] do not align with his intentions.

"Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.

"We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most. I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this. Thank you for those [sic] who have expressed concern for Kanye's well being [sic] and for your understanding."

Kardashian West signed the statement "with love and gratitude". 

If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, please visit: about.rte.ie/helplines.