Reviews Book

Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:875
  1. Sean A Spence, reader in psychiatry (
  1. University of Sheffield

    In the expanding vocabulary of manic depression, bipolar 1 disorder denotes episodes of depression alternating with mania (which may be psychotic); bipolar 2 describes depression alternating with hypomania (essentially a milder form of mania); bipolar 3 describes a first episode of mania precipitated by antidepressant medication; and bipolar 4 describes depression in someone who has been previously hyperthymic (expansive or “larger than life”). Readers of Andy Behrman's memoir may ask themselves which of these syndromes are being described. The press reviews cited on the book's cover suggest that psychiatrists will question Behrman's account. “Don't listen to them,” warns the Times …

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