Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania is Andy Behrman's chronicle
of his battle with manic depression or bipolar disorder - - the euphoric highs
and desperate lows.
For years Andy hid his raging mania under a larger-than-life personality.
He sought a high wherever he could find one, and changed jobs as some people change
outfits - - filmmaker, art dealer, hustler; whatever made him feel like a cartoon
character, invincible and bright. Electroboy is about living life at breakneck
speed. Andy hopped on flights from New York to Tokyo and Paris at a moment's notice,
spent $25,000 without a bit of thought on a huge shopping spree and stayed awake
nights exploring the underworld of nightlife in Manhattan or whatever city he
happened to be visiting, in search of the perfect high. But when Andy turned to
art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York
media, then in jail, then under house arrest. And for once he didn't have a ready
escape hatch from his unraveling life.
Andy was misdiagnosed by more than eight doctors and even when he was finally
diagnosed with this chronic illness, he was treated unsuccessfully with any regimen
of medication. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers, he felt
his mind lose traction. With no hope of his condition stabilizing, he turned to
the last resort: electroshock therapy also known as electroconvulsive therapy
(or ECT). Andy underwent nineteen electroshock treatments over the course of about
a year and a half.
Now Andy is a mental health writer and speaker who has traveled to more than
fifty cities across the United States and Canada, speaking to more than two hundred
mental health organizations and support groups, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses,
college audiences, and book clubs. Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania has been
translated into six foreign languages and is distributed worldwide in places as
far away as Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa. His articles
have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, on the BBC, and in various
mental health publications and websites.
A graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, he currently
lives mania-free in Los Angeles with his wife and baby. Electroboy is currently
being made into a major motion picture. Not only is Andy working on the sequel
to Electroboy, but hes also writing a self-help book for sufferers of bipolar
disorder, depression, and other mood disorders.