Valpros and Angelakos

“You can live your life, you can do mostly anything, but only after you take care of yourself.” -Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit

There was a time when bipolar disorder maintenance medication were only for the rich few, for their prices are sky high even for the most basic generic brands.At the time, it’s easy to die by hanging or by train suicide.

In comes Unilab with their offer of a local version called Valpros. When you’re bipolar, you lessen the risk of the increasing incidences of joining recent MRT suicide graduates by taking Valpros. (Your hands do get shaky and other stuff happens but what matters is that you can function well, in general. I tried not taking it and weighing the effects of the episode versus the side effects, I think I’m fine with pill-popping, baby.)

The jagged little pink pill, as I like to call it, is a very good mood stabilizer and also maintenance medication for people with epileptic seizures. I don’t understand why epileptics and bipolar people have the same meds. But they do, and here’s a funny picture taken by my friend Homer with the pink pill and me:

pink pill

A very outspoken bipolar patient named Michael Angelakos, vocalist of the band Passion Pit, recently received an award. It was called the Beatrice Stern Award for “putting a positive face on mental illness.” You can check out the video and details by clicking here. In the band’s album Gossamer, one of the songs (entitled Take a Walk) was dedicated to the manic phase of bipolar disorder. It was a good song. Very manic song. Very relatable.

After watching Angelakos talk about his therapy, I cried a lot because I felt how hard it was and yet, he succeeded. Also, he is undergoing some experimental electro-shock therapy, was forced to cancel some concert tours at the worst of his episodes, and basically had a rough phase where everything was dark and dreary.I now promise to buy all his albums, the real ones, because proceeds go to an institution that caters to people with bipolar disorder.

During his acceptance speech of his awesome award, he dedicated most of the stuff to his wife. He said that his wife was instrumental to his recovery. Awwww. God, the standard for men has just raised by 1 million notches there.

It totally affirms what I believe that people with mood disorders just need a little extra love than the average person… The stigma is so strong. Society is so harsh about mental illness and those who do not have it (or THINK that they do not have it!) judge those who have it so easily. Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy. But with many happy thoughts, I think most of the clouds can go away with the right dose of Valpros, the infinite dose of love loving, and the inspiration of people like Michael Angelakos.


Image credits: Engr. Homer Pagkalinawan