I am diagnosed Bi-Polar 1, and went from forced hospitalizations to being co-founder & CTO of a music and mental health startup. AMA!
Hi everyone! I am Aaron Labbé, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of LUCID - a startup innovating mental health through music. Nine years ago I was diagnosed with Bi-polar 1 Disorder, after over a year of un-diagnosed mania and psychosis that caused a number of lasting scars in my life.
In February 2012, I was forcibly hospitalized for the first time and kicked out of the music conservatory I was studying at. My life has never been the same since. That hospital experience itself was traumatizing. I had a doctor tell me to cope with the fact that I couldn't finish school, wouldn't be able to keep a professional job, and should ultimately settle into a more passive lifestyle.
Before this experience, my dream was to be a professional musician - but at that point I decided to dedicate my life to creating a more empathetic mental health system. In the last years of my 2nd round of university, I came up with a really big idea. That idea has grown into a company of ten artists, musicians and engineers. We have spent the last 2 years working tirelessly to turn music into a validated medicine for mental health.
If you also struggle with anxiety, stress, or any other mental health challenges - know that you’re not alone, and there’s help out here! We recently started a program to offer our music for mental health app (all premium features unlocked) for free to anyone who’s struggling and can’t afford the subscription. Additionally, all healthcare and essential workers can receive free subscriptions, to support them in the tireless mental battle against COVID-19.
Closing Edit: Thanks everyone for sharing your stories, and asking such creative and thoughtful questions. It was truly a pleasure hearing your experiences, and openly chatting with you all about topics that are still heavily stigmatized (it should be like this everyday!) I'll be answering the rest of the posted questions, and getting back to work! :)
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