Yes, I have to weigh in on the most recent celebrity suicides

I’ve been grappling with the two suicide deaths by famous people last week – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Both successful and productive. Both seemingly having no reasons to end their lives. So what made them do it? I’ve heard that Spade was suffering from depression and was getting help. I've recently learned that Bourdain also had bouts of depression, and that in his early days he had drug and alcohol problems. Needless to say, they both had their demons. However, they say it isn’t only mental illness – it could be what’s going on in our world, including poverty, homelessness and unemployment or stress on the job – that trigger suicide. In a recent "New Yorker" article, Andrew Solomon states: "There is another factor that should not be underestimated. On a national stage, we’ve seen an embrace of prejudice and intolerance, and that affects the mood of all citizens. My psychoanalyst said that he had never before had every one of his patients discuss national politics repeatedly, … [Read more...]

Conflicting studies about the goodness or badness of alcohol

About a year ago I wrote an article about the benefits of drinking red wine, and it was easy to find articles that virtually gave me permission to drink my favorite red zinfandels. Except for my twice-yearly wine fasts (I’m abstaining from drinking alcohol of any kind this month) just to cleanse the insides so to speak, I have a glass of wine every night. I was very glad to know that my red zin is actually good for me. I also quoted a couple of reputable sources: “Prevention” online published 8 Reasons to Love Red Wine, validating that drinking wine is definitely good for my body. Here’s the list Lowers cholesterol – the high-fiber Tempranillo grapes seems to help lower cholesterol Protects your heart – “…the antioxidants in red wine—can help keep blood vessels flexible and reduce the risk of unwanted clotting,” says John Folts, PhD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and nutrition at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Controls blood sugar – … [Read more...]