Listen to My Exclusive Interview with
Andy Behrman; A.K.A., Electroboy!
A lot of manic depressives already display the early signs of their disorder while they were still young. Andy Behrman was no different. At the age of seven or eight, he was already obsessive compulsive who loved to do constant counting, checking, and cleaning. Yet it was completely undiagnosed, as the people around him saw him perfectly fine.
It was already in the 1980s when he went to college in Wesleyan University. That’s when he started to spiral out of control. The easy access of drugs, sex, and alcohol only worsened his condition as he experienced a lot of manic episodes. When that happened, he was the star of the party, one of the best people to be with. He was bursting with energy that anyone easily gravitated toward him. Nevertheless, the bipolar disorder was also leading him the wrong directions that he almost failed in school.
He then later ventured into one of the biggest bustling cities in the world, New York, in the hopes of releasing a feature film independently, but it only drained whatever was provided by his grandfather as inheritance, and he found himself in a huge debt.
The debt didn’t deter him at all. He introduced himself into the world of fashion, first working as a boutique and subsequently offering escort services. In the dingy sections of Time Square, he stripped every night and provided “live shows” to some of his clienteles—all for fast cash.
His mania allowed him only two hours of sleep, which then gave him a lot of time to be anywhere and be with anyone. He worked with doctors and authors as a PR specialist, traveled from New York to Tokyo and Europe, squandering over $20,000 in an instant. He continued with his drug addiction pairing it with regular Amstel Lights. He was living the high life yet totally out of control.
Then he found himself in media spotlight. Behrman was prosecuted for counterfeiting and forgery and was later sentenced to several months in prison and house arrest. He was in one of his worst states of mania it took him a while to realize he was the case’s defendant.
The Search for Solutions
Behrman did not know what he’s dealing with, but he tried searching for solutions. He already started seeing professionals when he was in college. He took to heart some of his friends’ pieces of advice, only to develop obsession with the regimen such as exercising 4 hours a day and eating no more than a thousand calories daily.
He saw more than 5 doctors who misdiagnosed him and gave him medications that didn’t work. As a last resort, he then opted for ECT (electroshock therapy) in Gracie Square Hospital, which he did over 19 times in a year and a half.
Now officially diagnosed with manic depression or bipolar disorder, Behrman is currently divorced and a single father of two young daughters, ages 6 and 8. To be more normal, however, he needed to take 9 medications and more drugs to prevent the side effects.
Behrman knows he’s not a perfect person, and he continues to struggle sometimes with the disorder. But he’s also aware thousands are left untreated and live or even die more miserable. So in 2002 he released his book entitled Electroboy. He took it across the country and in several mental health organizations, hoping more can get help fast and avoid living the tumultuous life he dealt with.