This week marks a sad anniversary: the tragic death of a beautiful young woman named Penney Richards. Penney was killed in a motorcycle accident on a sunny day in 2009. Mood music: To be honest, I didn’t really know her. But I had once worked with her mother, who has the same name but spells it Penny. I usually slip into depression in November, but I sunk much deeper into it that year because I couldn’t…  [Read More]

Share Button

Manson’s Getting Married

by Bill Brenner on November 19, 2014

When traffic on older posts starts shooting through the roof, it’s usually a sign that something new is happening with the people and events I’ve written about. The latest example: Charles Manson. Mood music: It appears that Charlie has obtained a marriage license and plans to wed 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, who goes by the name Star. The young lady says she loves Manson because of his environmental activism. She’s apparently willing to look beyond the…  [Read More]

Share Button

Depressed Minds, Not Beaten Souls

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2014 Suicide

In 2011, I was sobered by a report in USA Today that said 1 in 100 adults had planned their suicide in the year leading up to the article —  a statistic that didn’t surprise me, knowing what I do about depression. Mood music: I’ve suffered a lot of depression in my day. I’m experiencing it right now. While I’ve never seriously considered ending it, I can easily see how someone in that state of mind could head in…  [Read More]

Share Button

18 Years After the Suicide

by Bill Brenner November 17, 2014 Depression

Eighteen years ago my best friend killed himself. I knew he was badly depressed. I even had a feeling he harbored suicidal thoughts. I just never thought he’d do it. I was wrapped up in my own world as he deteriorated. I was binge eating and working 80 hours a week, too worried about my career to see much else around me. Had I not been, I might have been able to make a difference. That’s…  [Read More]

Share Button

Why Can’t They Just Snap Out Of It?

by Bill Brenner November 13, 2014 SAD

For those who don’t experience or understand depression, it can be hard to understand the duration of someone’s melancholy and why, after a while, they can’t just snap out of it. I’ve spent a lot of time learning to keep my moods out of the way, carrying on in public like all is normal. But when I’m home, it’s exceptionally difficult to keep up appearances. No matter how hard I try to “snap out of it,”…  [Read More]

Share Button

40 Years Ago in Amityville

by Bill Brenner November 12, 2014 Addiction

Some of you have seen the “Amityville Horror” and instantly think of it as the story of a haunted house. I never believed it, but I’ve always been drawn to the murders that started the whole thing off. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the murders, in which Ronald “Butch” DeFeo was convicted of killing his parents, two brothers and two sisters. I’ve always had an interest in it because at its bare core, this…  [Read More]

Share Button

Metal Dad Scenarios

by Bill Brenner November 12, 2014 Parenting

As a metalhead and father of two children, I found this video amusing and, occasionally, a little bit too real.

Share Button

Cognitive Impairment and Stupidity Aren’t the Same Thing

by Bill Brenner November 11, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

Writers and editors at The Independent had some fun with an article about a virus that, as they put it, “makes people more stupid.” The problem is that they confuse impaired cognitive function with stupidity. The headline may get attention, but it’s irresponsible. Mood music: The article begins with this: A virus that infects human brains and makes us more stupid has been discovered, according to scientists in the US. The algae virus, never before observed…  [Read More]

Share Button

5 Stages of Depression: Like Grief, Only Different

by Bill Brenner November 6, 2014 Dealing with life

There are plenty of articles out there about the so-called five stages of grief. Based on my experiences in that department, I find the writings mostly accurate and valuable. I’ve been thinking lately about how there are also stages of depression, not unlike those of grief. Identifying them can help you know where you are and what’s going on. Note: this is not a scientific effort. It is simply based on my own experiences. Mood…  [Read More]

Share Button

A New Season of SAD: Self-Doubt Shows Up

by Bill Brenner November 5, 2014 Dealing with life

In what seemed like seconds after turning the calendar to November, a wave of depression hit me hard. It dogged me through the weekend and it’s with me now. With it comes feelings of self-doubt. Mood music: Those who know me see me as a confident man, and most of the time I am. I’ve been through enough to know that with the right attitude and will, things ultimately work out. I’m usually confident about…  [Read More]

Share Button