Andy Behrman, Author of "Electroboy" Speaks About Suicide Prevention, Recovery and Living Successfully with Mental Illness

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Mental Health Advocate and Author Andy Behrman will embark on a twenty-city college campus "Suicide Prevention" Tour in Spring 2010

The topic of student wellness on campus has received a great deal of attention in the past couple of years. From the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois to the series of suicides at N.Y.U. that have received prominent media attention, it has never been more important than now to empower college students with the tools they need to manage their mental health care needs. Andy Behrman, author of the best selling book, Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania can offer just that. Behrman is an engaging motivational speaker on the subject of recovering from mental illness, learning to live successfully with it and suicide prevention and he is now available for speaking engagements at colleges across the United States.

Behrman is a captivating figure, who has parlayed his experiences, artfully illustrated in Electroboy, into inspiring appearances that have given hope and help to millions world-wide living with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. The following description of Electroboy will tell you why Behrman’s story has impacted so many:

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”.

Behrman has shared his experiences with more than 250 audiences of college students, patients, mental health care professionals, pharmaceutical groups and book clubs; anyone whose life is touched by mental illness on a daily basis. In addition, Behrman has spoken to both college students and patients about suicide prevention; and by openly sharing his own personal experiences, he has given hope to those who often see no other alternative.

Behrman knows first hand of the turmoil those contemplating suicide face. As he wrote in Electroboy, Behrman attempted suicide three times before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Among the topics Andy will discuss are:

  •     His personal experiences
  •     The need for family and friends to take the talk of suicide seriously (particularly from those who have psychiatric disorders; abuse drugs or alcohol; have a family history of suicide; or a chronic illness).
  •     The warning signs: statements about wanting to die; the acquisition of methods to take one’s life (firearms, pill stocking); despair; substance abuse; selling or donating items; usual goodbyes; sudden elation post-despondency.
  •     How to respond: ask compassionate questions; seek professional help remove destructive items; call 911.

While living with bipolar disorder is Behrman’s area of expertise, he is a qualified spokesperson when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses of all kinds and the impact of this highly stigmatized condition on families and loved ones. With the use of colorful storytelling and an irreverent sense of humor, Behrman expounds upon his years as both patient and mental health advocate to give audiences the tools they need to: locate qualified mental health care professionals and programs to meet their needs; cope with their diagnosis of mental illness and the impact on loved ones; navigate the labyrinth of the mental health care system; manage insurance and disability claims; find financial advisors and legal counsel live productive lives.

The takeaway from Behrman’s uplifting appearances is that one can manage mental illness depression and live a successful and meaningful life. Behrman is a man who has drawn upon his own inner strength to stand as a living symbol of hope to those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and related illnesses that would otherwise be thought debilitating.

Behrman is currently working on the sequel to Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania, now in paperback, which chronicles his inspiring life since its first publication. For more about Electroboy please visit the website: http://www.electroboy.com.

To book Andy Behrman for speaking engagements, please contact: Marilyn Fletcher, Curve Publicity: (212) 874-0852 or mfletcher(at)curvepublicity(dot)com

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