The Thanksgiving Blues

It's late November; the temperature drops, the leaves turn colorful, and the first snow drops in Michigan. It also signifies the start of the holiday season. For many this is an extremely happy time filled with family get-togethers, food, and love.

For others, it is the start of shorter days, longer nights and a season of grief and the "holiday blues." We've all heard of "winter depression" or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but did you know that the holiday blues is a real thing? According to a study by the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. This source of anxiety and/or depression is typically temporary and may be triggered by some combination of financial stress, loneliness, pressure from unrealistic expectations, and nostalgia.

However you react to this season, it's always a good idea to be sensitive to how your friends, family and loved ones feel and to be supportive.

From all of us at Lakes Center, we wish you a joyous, safe holiday filled with new positive memories and love. 

Lynne Lyons, MD
Medical Director and Psychiatrist
Lakes Center Mental Health Network
Stress from Communication
in the Digital Era

Achieving inbox zero by 5 p.m. used to be the goal for many office workers. But that became mission impossible for many who switched to remote work during the pandemic and faced an onslaught of Zoom meetings, pings on Slack, old-school conference calls, text messages, and tags on shared documents—not to mention an inbox overflowing with emails that came in after hours. No wonder burnout is on the rise.1

So what is it about workplace communication in the digital age that causes high stress levels and feelings of anxiety? Let’s take a look at some of the specific challenges that come with collaborating with colleagues and supervisors from behind a screen, along with tips from experts on setting boundaries for your mental health.

Practice Stress Management Techniques
During Thanksgiving (or any other stressful situation), it might be tempting to relieve stress by pouring an extra drink, using food as comfort, or even taking drugs to relax. These coping mechanisms may cause more problems in the long run. However, you can prepare by coming up with a list of healthy outlets for stress. suggests:
  • Getting fresh air
  • Exercise
  • Meditating
  • Reading a relaxing book
  • Doing art
  • Practicing deep breathing exercises

You can also find help by:
  • Talking with a friend or loved one
  • Talking to a therapist

The takeaway: Even if you try every tip on the list, it’s not possible to eliminate every source of stress, and that’s okay. The best strategy is to reduce what stress you can and then manage the rest of it with healthy stress management techniques.
Get Enough Sleep During the Holidays
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, you might be busy cleaning, decorating, and planning. However, don’t let the excitement and busy-ness of the day prevent you from getting enough sleep. Constantly running on not enough sleep can impact your mental and physical well-being. Specifically, research links sleep deprivation with increased rates of insomnia as well as increased irritability.

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep in a cool, dark room. Avoid using any blue lights (e.g., TV, tablets, phone) for 1-2 hours before bed.
We provide comprehensive psychiatric and psychotherapy services for a vast array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychotic illness, borderline personality disorder, substance abuse/addiction, trauma related issues, relationship difficulties, life transitions, and behavior problems. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Did you know? SPRAVATO® can have a rapid antidepressant response and is added on to an antidepressant and the rest of your regimen. It is the first new mechanism of action to treat depression that has come out in over 30 years. 
There is hope for treatment-resistant depression. Call (248) 859-2457 to set up an appointment.
Lakes DBT We provide comprehensive DBT services to provide effective treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other disorders involving emotion dysregulation, including co-occurring substance use disorders, major depressive disorder, and individuals with history of trauma. At Lakes DBT Center, we believe that with effective evidence-based treatment and a caring and coordinated treatment team, clients can achieve a life worth living. 
Lakes Psychiatric Center remains open for business. We are offering Zoom online tele-therapy appointments for new and existing clients as well as in person sessions. Please contact the front desk to assist you with your appointment type or instructions for using Zoom. Call (248) 859-2457 for info.
Lakes Depression Center is continuing to provide SPRAVATO® treatments per the usual schedule. We have enhanced our safety and cleaning protocols. You are safe to start treatment or continue treatment. Call (248) 956-7164 for info.
Diane Gutchak, PMHNP 
Nurse Practitioner

Diane Gutchak is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), as well as faculty for the University of Michigan – Flint. Twenty Four years as a FNP helped to nurture a passion for psychiatry. Diane provides comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, and medication management for patients experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar and other mood disorders. Working with patients to help them achieve recovery, improved
quality of life, and improved relationships.

Lisa Coram, DO

Dr. Lisa Coram has been practicing medicine as a Board Certified Psychiatrist since 2010. She attended Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her psychiatric training in New York City. As an Osteopathic Physician, she believes the best outcomes start with a wholistic approach. While Dr. Coram focuses on medication management, she recognizes the importance of integrating therapy and a healthy lifestyle into your treatment plan. She will thoroughly review your medical history, provide a diagnostic evaluation, and will offer genetic testing for medication compatibility, when necessary.