You can listen to Passion Pit's ebullient synthpop and easily miss the existential terror coded in the lyrics. But lead singer Michael Angelakos' recent announcement that he was canceling several Passion Pit shows to "work on improving my mental health" has brought his psychological troubles into the public eye.
Now concerned fans can take a deeper look into his strained psyche via Pitchfork's new "Cover Story" feature, an incredible piece that details the gifted singer-songwriter's bipolar disorder and history of attempted suicide. It's a remarkably worthwhile read, but given the subject matter, it's emotionally difficult to process. If you're not up for more than 4,000 words about Angelakos' mental health struggles, here are some of the salient—and in most cases, depressing—things we gleaned from Larry Fitzmaurice's excellent piece.
Angelakos Was Diagnosed as Bipolar at Age 18
"It’s a constant thing—I’m on suicide watch all the time. It’s something I have a history with, so people don’t trust me. They try to take it easy with me, and I don’t like it, because I don’t want to be known as an artist that’s super volatile."
Angelakos Talks Changing His Mind During a Suicide Attempt
"I walked myself to the hospital and waited for four hours—my coat had blood seeping through it, and I was passing out on the floor. The hospital employees finally realized what was wrong with me and said, 'Why didn't you tell us what was happening?' I didn't tell them because I was embarrassed."
Angelakos On His Lifespan
"I’ve told people that I don’t see myself living very long. That really upsets them, but I’m just being honest."
Abusing Alcohol to Deal with a Two-Month Period of Mania
"I went completely psychotic. I started drinking about one and a half liters of expensive gin a day. It was a way to rein in the mania—but when you are manic, you don’t want it turned off and you don’t know that anything is wrong. It’s like asking someone that has never seen a mirror before to describe what they look like."
The Importance of Being Candid About Mental Health
"I don't think people talk about mental illness a lot, but they need to know it's OK to talk about how they are feeling. People are afraid of telling the truth because they think it's going to hurt everyone around them."
If you have the emotional fortitude, you should definitely check out the full piece over at Pitchfork.