Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.
Ignoring his crescendoing illness, Behrman struggled to keep up appearances, clinging to the golden-boy image he had cultivated in his youth. But when he turned to art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York media, then incarcerated, then under house arrest. And for the first time the golden boy didn’t have a ready escape hatch from his unraveling life. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers and feeling his mind lose traction, he opted for the last resort: electroshock therapy.
At once hilarious and harrowing, Electroboy paints a mesmerizing portrait of a man held hostage by his in-satiable desire to consume. Along the way, it shows us the New York that never sleeps: a world of strip clubs, after-hours dives, and twenty-four-hour coffee shops, whose cheap seductions offer comfort to the city’s lonely souls. This unforgettable memoir is a unique contribution to the literature of mental illness and introduces a writer whose energy may well keep you up all night.
My Review: I have a confession to make. I myself have bipolar and discover the gem of a book when I was first diagnosed. I went to the library and asked to check out books related to bipolar and this is one of those they gave me. This is also one of my favorite memoirs related to bipolar disorder. This is also on my yearly re- read list
This book brings a lot of comfort to me I read it to know that I am not alone. That some one else went through worse than I did and survived and is now functional.
I feel it is important to have books such as these to know what bipolar really is like. The doctors fail to explain in depth what it is and there is so much misinformation out there related to bipolar. It is important to have as accurate information as possible.
One reason I like this book is that he conveys what happened to him in a humors light. There are so many doom and gloom tales of mental illness that it is refreshing to have one that is downright funny. I laughed all thorough this book.
He tells about his journey with medicines and their side effects. The meds did not work well for him so he and his doctor decided to try electro shock therapy. That’s is how he got his name. He explains how he his memory was affected and how he lived through the side effects. This is an honest portrayal of what electro shock therapy is like. There is no glamorizing here. In fact there is no glamorizing in any of this book. This is a raw gritty account of what bipolar is.It expresses the manic highs and the lows and the rage that comes with it.
Overall I feel this is a must read book. even if you don’t have bipolar you can get enjoyment out of this book and learn about it at the same time.