Friday, January 12, 2018


Spring Out of It or Embrace It?

Most of us have some feelings about the holidays. For many in the harder winter regions of the country this is a difficult time if faced with depression and the
inability to be active outside the home. Growing up in harsh winters, such as Syracuse New York and Anchorage Alaska, my peers knew of the winter blues by lived experiences and stories (which included urban legions) but we could not speak clinically about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because we did not think and understand mental health terminology.  
Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights, AuroraMany regional communities manage this SAD experience through community appropriate (or inappropriate) activities.  Fur Rendezvous Festivals, Winter swimming, excessive drinking, Northern Lights Festivals, World Ski and Snowboard Festivals; to smaller village induit Quviasukvik events. To be engaged in winter sports is not just an attribute but an advantage in ammunition for depression combat; however, not all of us are engaged and will-powered in the seduction of winter.  
If we can think of winter as a time to hibernate, recharge, play in the snow with children, reflect on recent holidays, increase reading, increase writing, grow from an intra-spective, then we are in good space.  If we can not identify with such concepts then we must think of the gestation as an opportunity to embrace the new season of Spring.  The article discussing January Blues touches on some points of discussion that might help in supporting friends and loved ones during this season after the holidays.  
As a therapist in Los Angeles I have seen clients work with depression or “the blues.”  Southern Californians have an advantage living in Los Angeles County (which includes Silver Lake, Echo Park, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Wilshire and Fairfax District, Glendale and Atwater Village, just to name a few) because these culturally and socially diverse regions offers so many opportunities for stimulation and endorphin support within (and outside) that zip code.  Just imagine: Going online to find a food truck at the touch of a keypad at 8:00 p.m.; going to the beach any day of the week and putting your toes in the cold but swimmable waters of the Pacific ocean; walking the diversity of Venice Beach; going to a multitude of free museums any day of the week - The Getty, for example; walking the Hollywood Walk of Stars; the hiking trails of Runyon Canyon or walking past the Hollywood Sign at Bronson Canyon; partial listing.  
All these taken-for-granted-freebies.  Right at our doorsteps.  So, start the conversation about increasing your mood and spirit if you or others you know need prompts in the feel good category.  Whether the loss of job, loss of relationship through divorce or separation, death, bereavement, SAD, or major depression; January Blues are real and present.  How we manage them could be successful through social support and just by living in Southern California’s LA County.
Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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