I use my years of experience as a mental health advocate
and as a professional patient to guide and help people coping with mental illness,
as well as those who love and care for them. I help people devise strategic plans
for recovery including advice with:
choosing qualified mental health care professionals and programs
discussing the pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
the mental health care, insurance, and disability systems
referrals to financial advisors and legal counsel (sometimes appearing in court)
with the pressure that mental illness creates within the family unit
non-professional therapeutic care, comfort, and advice working
For an hourly fee of $250, I am available by phone, by e-mail
or in person in the Los Angeles area. Please e-mail
me to find out more or schedule an appointment.
*Andy Behrman is not a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social
worker, or lawyer, and his guidance as a consultant is not a substitute for professional
advice. Patients should always consult a qualified mental health professional
before making any decisions regarding treatment choice or changes in their treatment.
"The latest most hyperkinetic book in a robust genre." — The New York Times
"He's very insightful and very funny. It's really a beautiful book."
— Rosie O'Donnell
"Compulsively readable." — W Magazine
Soon to be a major
|WHO IS ANDY BEHRMAN (A.K.A. ELECTROBOY)?
He slept only three hours a night. Sometimes he didn't go to bed for days.
He was a public relations agent, an art dealer, a hustler
and a forger who made millions. He would fly from Zurich to the Bahamas
then back again to balance out the hot and cold. He learned new languages in a
week. He spent his money on wild shopping sprees all around the globe,
buying up clothing, paintings and extravagant gifts for friends. He gave complete
strangers spontaneous gifts of thousands of dollars from the cash he
kept in his freezer. He was moving at breakneck speed - - fueling his behavior
with drugs and alcohol. After seeing more than eight doctors, he
was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Then he was arrested for art forgery and was convicted of fraud.
He was sent off to prison. When he was released, he returned home, forced
to live in his apartment under house arrest. After two unsuccessful years
of experimenting with all different combinations of medication to stabilize his
wild mood swings, he opted for intensive bouts of electroshock
therapy as a last resort. He was temporarily cured. No longer Superman,
he was now Electroboy.
This is his story. It's all true...
EXCERPT FROM ELECTROBOY
|Bipolar disorder is about buying a dozen bottles of Heinz
ketchup and all eight bottles of Windex in stock at the Food Emporium on Broadway
at 4:00 a.m., flying from Zurich to the Bahamas and back to Zurich in three days
to balance the hot and cold weather (my sweet and sour theory of bipolar disorder),
carrying $20,000 in $100 bills in your shoes into the country on your way back
from Tokyo, and picking out the person sitting six seats away at the bar to have
sex with only because he or she happens to be sitting there. It's about blips
and burps of madness, moments of absolute delusion, bliss, and irrational and
dangerous choices made in order to heighten pleasure and excitement and to ensure
a sense of control. The symptoms of bipolar disorder come in different strengths
and sizes. Most days I need to be as manic as possible to come as close as I can
to destruction, to get a real good high -- a $25,000 shopping spree, a four-day
drug binge, or a trip around the world. |
A Memoir of Mania
If you liked this paragraph, you'll love the book!
This spring, I will embark on a national college tour about suicide-prevention
- - advocacy work that I hope will bring the topic directly to students, especially
where there are no programs that address this important issue. I will keep you
posted as to where I will be speaking. The tour will likely extend to the fall
and winter semesters of 2010 - 2011 as well.
I'd like to share these two startling facts with you:
1. According to a recent survey, one in seven college students reported
they had seriously considered attempting suicide. Nearly one in fourteen said
they had actually attempted suicide one or more times.
2. Among college students, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
If you have a suggestion for a college or a self-help/support group which you
would like me to visit, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
In closing, eliminating the stigma of mental illness, which has always been so important to me, is still a huge battle that is not yet complete. We have made tremendous strides in the last decade - - but there's still so much work to be done.