Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Suzy Favor Hamilton Opens Up About her Call-Girl Experiences, Being Bipolar

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Folks, I am stunned.

Suzy Favor Hamilton, who I wrote about back in 2012 after the story broke that she’d become a high-priced Las Vegas escort, was interviewed by Elizabeth Vargas last night on ABC’s 20/20 news program. (Here is an article about the show from ABC News.) I watched this online, and was riveted. Not by the admission that she’d had sex with five guys in one night (though that didn’t surprise me much; if you’re an escort, you do what you’re paid to do), but because it appears being bipolar and being misdiagnosed sent her into her double life and downward spiral in the first place.

But let me unpack that a little.

Suzy Favor Hamilton is now 47. She’s still the best female runner to ever come out of the state of Wisconsin, and one of the best female athletes the United States has ever had. She’s a three-time Olympian, had multiple endorsements because of her good looks and running success, and, according to the story on 20/20, major anxiety issues.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Favor Hamilton also had bipolar disease. At the time, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and thought her problems were solved. But the antidepressants that were given to her made her hypersexual, more willing to try risky behaviors — and isn’t becoming a high-priced escort the epitome of risky behavior?

Anyway, Favor Hamilton’s husband continues to stand by her, and I don’t understand why. (Neither does Vargas, who asked him point-blank why he’d stayed. Mr. Hamilton admitted he didn’t know why; he just did.) He is obviously an incredibly patient man, insofar as he’s stayed with his wife as she’s endured many ups and downs — most particularly this last, major scandal of being exposed as a high-priced Las Vegas escort.

(Even though I don’t understand it, more power to him. I hope their marriage will survive. But I digress.)

Look. I know many people with anxiety, depression, and even bipolar disorders. But I hadn’t any idea that being bipolar could make you do anything close to how Favor Hamilton behaved…that it could make you hypersexual to the degree that you could sleep with five men in a night, and still want more, is much more information than any doctor has ever told me (or any of my friends with bipolar disorder, either).

So just by being willing to discuss what she did before being properly diagnosed as bipolar, Favor Hamilton has done a great service.

Favor Hamilton has written a book called FAST GIRL, a play on words that makes perfect sense. In her book, she discusses her mental illness, along with what Vargas called her “scandalous life in Vegas” (my best paraphrase, as I don’t have a transcript). And she also has gone further, discussing what she’s done since to heal herself and her marriage, including moving to California, being honest with herself about her health and her personal needs, and much, much more.

As sportswriter Christine Brennan said during the 20/20 episode, what Favor Hamilton is doing today in discussing her bipolar disorder and all the things that she did until it was properly diagnosed is possibly the best thing Favor Hamilton has ever done.

While I’m still shocked that anyone with the looks, brains, and money that Favor Hamilton had would ever become an escort, I’m glad that Favor Hamilton has healed. She’s become an advocate for mental illness along with physical fitness, and it seems to me that she’s doing all she can to rebuild her life.

More power to her.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

September 12, 2015 at 3:02 am

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