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Singer calls dealing with bipolar disorder 'all-encompassing'

Many people in New York and across the country suffer from mental illness. For some, it is manageable, but for others, it is debilitating. For the latter, getting up and going to work every day can become impossible. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits are available to help these people financially. But despite the large number of people who suffer from mental illness, it is not often well-understood by others. One singer, however, recently helped shed some light on his own battle with mental illness.

Michael Angelakos, the lead singer of the band Passion Pit, suffers from bipolar disorder. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he said he at first tried to hide it from people. But after having to cancel several shows because of the disorder, he decided to share his story.

He was diagnosed when he was 17 years old and has been fighting a difficult battle ever since. He said for him, the disorder is "all-encompassing." There are days when he simply can't get out of bed. In the Rolling Stone interview, he described a time where his depression got so bad, he suffered from psychomotor retardation. In other words, his brain started to shut down the rest of his body, as he described it.

The singer said that touring has been challenging, especially when people don't understand how debilitating a mental illness can be. He added, though, that being more open about it has helped.

Although Angelakos has been able to alternate between touring and seeking medical treatments, that lifestyle does not work for everyone. For some people with severe mental illnesses, work is simply not an option. In these cases, applying for disability benefits can help.

Source: Rolling Stone, "Passion Pit Singer on Battling Mental Illness and Taking New Songs on the Road," Dan Hyman, Aug. 4, 2012

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