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Passion Pit Uses Facebook Live to Show TMS for Bipolar Disorder

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On Tuesday, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos went live on Facebook to share his experience getting a lesser-known noninvasive mental health procedure, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a way of treating bipolar disorder.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

“The whole point is like, everyone says, ‘Oh, I don’t want to show people what I do, I don’t want to talk about therapy.’ If we don’t talk about it, it’s quite literally why no one understands what we’re talking about,” Angelakos said in his video. “So, I don’t have anything to hide. I think this is an amazing treatment.”

TMS is currently considered an off-label treatment for bipolar disorder. The procedure, which uses magnetic fields to simulate nerve cells, is approved for treating major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. Because TMS is not yet approved for bipolar disorder, and therefore not covered by insurance, it can be expensive, Angelakos, who said he used to get electroconvulsive therapy, explained.

The video, titled “This is what getting help looks like,” is almost an hour long, and features Angelakos and his doctor, “Bobby,” answering questions and providing information about TMS. All of this takes place while Angelakos undergoes treatment.

“I’m manic right now, I’ve not slept in three days,” Angelakos shared. “I’m tired, but not at all. I talk a lot. Ideas are kind of just going, going, going, going, and I need to calm down. Sometimes I take lithium, I would prefer to do this. This helps calm me down.”

This is not the first time Angelakos has opened up about living with bipolar disorder. In 2012, he told Pitchfork he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 18.

Angelakos also used the video to talk about mental health stigma and answer questions from fans about his experience living with bipolar disorder. Since posting the video, many have thanked the artist for sharing his story and shedding light on a less common treatment option.

“Thanks for being open about this. It’s super helpful to have famous musicians show that mental disorders are common and manageable and bring that message to the rest of the population,” one commenter wrote.

“It’s so amazing to hear someone else verbalize and express what I feel on a daily basis. It really means a lot, because it feels like I’m not going through this alone,” another shared.

Update:  It appears the live video has been taken down, and Angelakos posted the following update.

You can watch Angelakos’ full video below.

Originally published: April 4, 2017
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