Depression and Anxiety in the Age of Trump

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2016 Political discourse

This post isn’t to endorse or condemn either of this year’s presidential candidates. It IS acknowledgement that people are shaken by the election of Donald Trump as president. For many, the uncertainty and fear translates into depression and anxiety. If Hillary Clinton had won, there’d be a lot of Trump supporters suffering in similar fashion. So I would have been writing this post anyway. The big question is how to move forward if the election has…  [Read More]

4 Tips to Beat Fear and Anxiety at #RSAC2016

by Bill Brenner February 3, 2016 Infosec

The first time I attended RSA in 2005, fear and anxiety threatened to consume me. I feared the flights, the crowds and the prospect of failing professionally. Fast-forward to 2016: I’m a veteran infosec journalist who has been to too many conferences to count. I can’t say that I’m done with fear and anxiety, but I’ve brought it largely under control. I’ve met a lot of people who suffer the same debilitating anxiety I used to experience over…  [Read More]

Anxiety Level Green

by Bill Brenner September 4, 2015 Fear and anxiety

A while back I wrote about the various stages of anxiety based on the first five colors of Newton’s primary color system. In the last week, I’ve realized that I’ve been at level green for at least three months. Mood music: At the time I wrote it, my description for Level Green was: Green. This anxiety appears when the less-frequent stresses spark up. Yesterday was a perfect example in my world: I was already ramped up from…  [Read More]

The “I’m Surviving” Checklist

by Bill Brenner June 9, 2015 Coping tools

I’ve learned that in times of disorganized thought, depression and anxiety, it’s good to make lists. Want to squeeze out all your negative thoughts about people? Make a resentment list. Need help getting your diet in order? Write a daily food list, also known as a food diary. Feeling overwhelmed by work and family responsibilities? Make daily to-do lists to stay on top of it all. Mood music: Life has been pretty chaotic lately, and…  [Read More]

Pain Leaks from Mind to Body

by Bill Brenner September 17, 2014 Fear and anxiety

Mental illness can lead to physical sickness. It’s a simple fact that some people find hard to believe. Mood music: I often hear people arguing over whether this person’s or that person’s aches and pains are “all in their head.” You know the type: There’s never any real underlying disease, but they’re always calling out of work with a headache or some intestinal discomfort. It’s all in their head, you say? Well, yeah. It’s called psychosomatic…  [Read More]

5 Things I’ve Done That Scare Me

by Bill Brenner September 3, 2014 Courage

A while back I wrote a post celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt’s call to “do something every day that scares you.” Rereading that post recently, I realized I forgot something important. Mood music: I forgot to mention how I’m living that advice and not simply parroting it to be cool. If this blog is to mean anything, I have to lead by example, though not in the ways you may be thinking of. I’m not about to skydive…  [Read More]

I Don’t Dislike Mondays

by Bill Brenner June 2, 2014 Dealing with life

I used to fit the “I hate Monday” stereotype perfectly. In fact, that first day of the work week used to fill me with terror. I’d start to get depressed Saturday night because it meant the weekend was halfway done. I’d get so worked up on Sundays that I’d short circuit and sleep most of the afternoon away. Now I love Mondays. When someone complains about it, I laugh or roll my eyes, conveniently forgetting that…  [Read More]

It’s Not How Far You Have to Go, It’s How Far You’ve Come

by Bill Brenner May 28, 2014 Dealing with life

No matter how much we’ve grown, no matter how far we’ve come, we insist on beating ourselves over the strides we have yet to achieve. When it comes to self-loathing over one’s vulnerabilities, I’m about the best there is. But I’ve worked hard to break myself of that, because the truth is that I have come a long way since the days when I was owned by my OCD, anxiety, fears and dark impulses. Do…  [Read More]

Basil Fawlty Can Suck It

by Bill Brenner March 17, 2014 OCD

I know many fans of the old BBC show Fawlty Towers. People love to laugh at lead character Basil Fawlty, who’s perpetually unhinged, rude and ridiculous. Viewers can laugh at Basil’s expense and even feel a little grateful for not being that guy. But I have to confess that I despise the show. Mood music: When I watch an episode, I actually get stressed out. My anxiety goes through the roof every time Basil puts…  [Read More]

Death by Regimentation

by Bill Brenner January 30, 2014 Depression

I lead a pretty regimented life. I’ve gotten good at juggling multiple activities at once and sticking to carefully mapped out schedules. Regimens are good for me. I need specific plans for eating, exercise and career/family management. But I have to admit, all that regimentation is like a noose around my neck lately. Mood music: I recently reined in my eating plan and got back to exercising because my health was beginning to drift. I…  [Read More]