Depression Takes Another Life: Ronnie Montrose

by Bill Brenner April 11, 2012 Addiction

Depression has claimed another victim. Published reports confirm that legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose’s March 3 death was a suicide. Many of you are unfamiliar with him, but his playing left a lasting mark on a lot of mega-star musicians, including Eddie Van Halen, who recorded four studio albums with original Montrose singer Sammy Hagar. Mood music: Montrose’s wife, Leighsa Montrose, described how badly he suffered in an interview with Guitar Player magazine: “Ronnie had a very…  [Read More]

I Bet Health Insurers Would Gladly Cover Suicide Pills

by Bill Brenner February 13, 2012 Depression

The Catholic Church is bringing out its heavy artillery to fight a Massachusetts ballot initiative that, if passed, would allow doctors to prescribe lethal pills to terminally-ill patients that want to be put out of their misery. I’m with the church on this one. Mood music: Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh describes this quite nicely: An initiative petition to legalize physician-assisted suicide has been certified by Attorney General Martha Coakley. If backers collect enough signatures, and…  [Read More]

The Wellbutrin Experiment: Day 8

by Bill Brenner January 20, 2012 Depression

As I mentioned earlier, I’m taking Wellbutrin to combat a tougher-than-usual bout of winter depression. Here’s where I stand eight days in. Mood music: I think I’m starting to feel it, though it’s hard to know for sure this soon. The nurse told me it could take several weeks before I’d feel the full effect, since Wellbutrin slowly accumulates. I have noticed a few things, though: –I’m a little more focused than I’ve been in…  [Read More]

OCD On My Left, ADD On My Right

by Bill Brenner January 16, 2012 Coping tools

It’s been an interesting month in mental disorder awareness. In taking steps to nip wintertime depression in the bud, I’ve learned that OCD isn’t my only mental defect. Mood music: It appears that as OCD messes with one side of my brain, Attention Deficit Disorder is toying with the other side. This little epiphany happened when I visited the nurse who helps me manage my regimen of medication. She asked a lot of questions she…  [Read More]

Serotonin, Dopamine And Two Blue Pills

by Bill Brenner January 12, 2012 Coping tools

As the reader knows, I’ve had a persistent bout of winter depression. Not the “I’m sad and want to hurt myself” type, but the ho-hum, grumpy old man variety. Mood music: This afternoon I visited the nurse who manages my Prozac intake and walked out with a new drug: Wellbutrin. I’ll be taking it in addition to the 60 MG of Prozac I’ve been taking for a few years now. The Prozac increases the amount…  [Read More]

Traci Foust Talks OCD on NPR

by Bill Brenner January 5, 2012 Adventures in writing

Erin is playing me an NPR broadcast about OCD. I went looking for the link to include here and tripped over another good NPR segment. This one is an interview with Traci Foust, author of “Nowhere Near Normal: A Memoir of OCD.” I recently connected with Traci on Facebook and she’s a great resource for understanding the disorder. Do yourself a favor and listen to it HERE. While we’re on the topic, it’s also worth checking…  [Read More]

My Happy Lamp Isn’t Working As I’d Hoped

by Bill Brenner January 5, 2012 Depression

Me and the happy lamp Erin bought me to combat winter depression aren’t seeing eye to eye. Everyone I talk to who uses one says it works. But here’s my problem… Mood music: As I stare at the florescent glow that’s supposed to simulate sunlight, a nagging thought dogs me: “It’s just not the same as real sunlight,” I keep telling myself. There’s something about genuine sunlight — how it bounces off trees and…  [Read More]

Prozac Winter Has Set In

by Bill Brenner January 2, 2012 Depression

I’ve had some sharp mood swings in recent days. Now that it seems to be leveling off, I can write about it. Mood music: I made it through the usual Christmas blues in one piece and even enjoyed the holiday once it arrived. A week of vacation followed, and we Brenners did something we rarely do: Sit around like slugs. We needed it. We must have needed it really bad, in fact, because God sent…  [Read More]

THE OCD DIARIES, Two Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2011 Addiction

Two years ago today, in a moment of Christmas-induced depression, I started this blog. I meant for it to be a place where I could go and spill out the insanity in my head so I could carry on with life. In short order, it snowballed into much more than that. Mood music: About a year into my recovery from serious mental illness and addiction — the most uncool, unglamorous addiction at that — I started…  [Read More]

Is It Bad That Two Family Members Are In Therapy?

by Bill Brenner November 28, 2011 Addiction

If more than one member of the same family is in therapy, is that a sign that the family is seriously screwed up? Mood music: That’s the question we are asking ourselves these days. As the reader knows by now, I’ve been in therapy for OCD and related issues for seven years. Duncan sees a children’s therapist to help him work through his ADHD. Is this family a basket case? In my opinion, it’s exactly…  [Read More]