mental-health

When Your Kid Asks About Anti-Depressants

by Bill Brenner October 28, 2015 Children's issues

My 12-year-old has a few things in common with his dad. Both of us have mental disorders (his is ADHD, mine is OCD with wintertime undercurrents of ADHD). Both of us take medication to help manage our ills. But until last weekend, he had never asked the big question: “What do these pills do, anyway?” Mood music: To answer the question, I dusted off an analogy I had used some years ago to explain it…  [Read More]

When Life Changes, So Do Your Coping Tools

by Bill Brenner October 7, 2015 Coping tools

I used to post in this blog at least once a day. Now I struggle to write a couple times a week. What’s going on? Mood music: When I started this blog, I was writing one or more posts a day, almost every day. Then it was four times a week. Then it was three. Lately, I have a hard time finding the motivation to write. It’s odd, because writing has long been my most…  [Read More]

Life Doesn’t Suck, We Just Need Our Life Jackets

by Bill Brenner May 27, 2015 Coping tools

Lately, I’ve been going through a tough period and been documenting it here because it’s another journey and I like to document all my journeys. One thing I’m re-learning on this trek is that it’s important to find life jackets that keep you from drowning when the floods come. Put on the life jacket for a couple hours or a couple of days pockets to keep your head above water. Mood music: Last weekend while the…  [Read More]

Through The Storm

by Bill Brenner May 18, 2015 Coping tools

Work is crazy busy. I’m visiting my father in hospice a lot. Helping Dad tie up some loose ends on his real-estate interests has become a full-time job in itself. It would be easy, in this crazy time of life, to skip doctor appointments, binge-eat or climb into a bottle. Mood music: Admittedly, my eating has been less than stellar. It’s the opposite of binging at this point; my appetite cuts out a lot and…  [Read More]

The Burden of Being Upright, Part 2

by Bill Brenner April 6, 2015 Mental health

I’ve written a lot about the frustrations that come with trying to be a good man when you carry so much baggage. The burden of being upright is something we all carry, but it’s really been weighing on me of late. Mood music: This isn’t a pity party. But I’ve learned over the years that listing my issues and what I’m doing about them can help put them into perspective for me and can encourage…  [Read More]

Cut Toxic People Loose

by Bill Brenner January 2, 2015 Coping tools

We all have dysfunctional friends and family. In some respects, they add color and fun to our lives. But sometimes you find yourself up against that special someone who constantly complains about others and puts you down. We want to accept the latter as much as we accept the former. But there’s a problem. Mood music: The latter group — we’ll call them the toxic people — rub off on you. Their toxic tirades seep…  [Read More]

Turning Mental Disorder into a Superpower

by Bill Brenner December 15, 2014 Coping tools

Instead of fighting some mental disorders, such as OCD or ADHD, picture yourself accepting and even embracing them. Then learn to use your disorder to your advantage. It’s kind of like Luke Skywalker learning to use and control the Force instead of it controlling him, or Superman learning to control his super-senses. Mood music: This won’t work for every disorder, of course. Some are more serious than others, like PTSD and schizophrenia. But Edward (Ned)…  [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]

Trying to Make Peace with Prednisone

by Bill Brenner September 2, 2014 Dealing with life

I’ve been on Prednisone for five days now, and the side effects are kicking in. My appetite has gone from zero to 100, and my moodiness is considerable. Mood music: But the drug is doing its work, easing my back pain from shooting, piercing spasms to a more manageable dull ache. Now I remember why they used to put me on this shit for Crohn’s Disease. When it comes to putting the freeze on inflamed…  [Read More]

Tapping into Infosec’s Human Side

by Bill Brenner March 27, 2014 Depression

In my day job, I host the Akamai Security Podcast, an audio program about all things information security. On occasion, the topics of my profession bleed into the focus of this blog. In the following podcast, I chat with colleague Christian Ternus, a member of Akamai Infosec’s Adversarial Resilience Team. He’s been the driving force behind Humanity in Security, an effort to address burnout, depression and stress in the security community. One of his main messages is…  [Read More]