The 39-year-old television personality addressed West's struggle with the mental disorder, which can cause extreme and unusual mood shifts, Wednesday on Instagram Stories in response to "stigma and misconceptions about mental health."
Kardashian said West's struggle with bipolar disorder has been "incredibly complicated and painful" for his loved ones to understand. She said she kept quiet about West's struggle until now out of respect for the rapper's privacy and a desire to protect their children.
"But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health," Kardashian said.
Kardashian said her family and friends are largely "powerless" to intervene or force West to get help because he is an adult.
"People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try," she said.
Kardashian seemingly referenced West's behavior at his first presidential campaign rally, saying she understands West is "subject to criticism" as a public figure. She praised her husband as a "brilliant but complicated person" whose "words some times do not align with his intentions."
"Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how unobtainable they may feel to some," Kardashian said. "That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true."
Kardashian ended by asking for "compassion and empathy" from the media and the public.
"Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye's well being and for your understanding," she said.
West wore a bulletproof vest at his campaign rally Sunday in South Carolina, where he criticized historic abolitionist Harriet Tubman and shared how he and Kardashian once contemplated aborting their daughter North. He implied in a since-deleted tweet Monday that Kardashian tried to have him committed to a mental health facility.
"Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday," West wrote.
On Tuesday, West said he will release a new album, Donda, on Friday. The album is named after West's late mother, who died at age 58 in 2007.