(Originally published on Boundary Crosser) I used to have a great deal of faith in psychiatry. Then, I experienced what psychiatric treatment for a serious mental illness can actually be like. I’m no longer…
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Andy Behrman’s ‘Electroboy’ | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 05
Andy Behrman is the author of Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania.
At first, Andy Behrman’s manic episodes gave him an edge among the young professional elite of 1980s New York City: thousands of ideas tumbled out of his super-charged brain and he slept only a couple of hours a night, leaving him plenty of time to pursue them all. Soon, though, the dizzying highs and crushing lows of his undiagnosed bipolar disorder grew too strong, and Andy’s life spun out of control. He developed a taste for drugs, quick money and risky sex. He grew delusional and grandiose, spending thousands of dollars on impulsive trips around the world and luxury goods. His mania-fueled joyride ended in a federal court, an accused embezzler and forger of modern art.
It took almost 20 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy to bring some degree of normalcy to Andy’s life, but his story doesn’t end there. He became a spokesperson for a powerful pharmaceutical company, ultimately betraying his corporate paymasters to become one of their harshest critics.
Big pharma critic, author and mental health advocate Andy Behrman is my guest on this episode of The DisinfoCast.