THRIVE Volume 1

Oct. 2021 | Vol. 1


Official newsletter of Synergy Strive Coaching & The Psychiatric Practice of Steven M. Gordon & Associates

What’s In This Issue:

  • What It Means to Thrive
  • The Chain of Human Dignity
  • Tips for managing ADHD
  • Post Partum Depression
  • Meet Our Team!

On Thriving…

Written by Sherry Proctor

Sherry rx-sheet thrive-1-high-five

Welcome to our first edition of Thrive! This is where we’ll share awareness, information, education, and suggestions for all things mental health. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, looking to support a family member with ADHD, or just interested in ways to improve your self-care, we hope you’ll find some nuggets of useful information in each quarterly publication. If you’re interested in a particular topic, please feel free to drop us a line at, and we’ll do our best to address it in a future edition!

What does it mean to “thrive?” Social media might have some of us believing that thriving is a perfectly curated Instagram feed full of smiling family photos, cool travel pics, or the ultimate fall decorating scheme. When comparing our own lives to these images, it’s easy to think we’ve fallen short of the mark; but Merriam-Webster provides three definitions of the word “thrive:”

To grow vigorously; flourish
To gain in wealth or possessions; prosper
To progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

At Synergy Strive, our clinicians know that growth and prosperity often occur because of setbacks or in spite of circumstances. Our goal is to help our clients develop and activate resilience in order to grow and prosper in alignment with their goals so they can THRIVE in the face of whatever challenges life presents.

Revive. Strive. Thrive.

The Chain of Human Dignity

Written by Steven M Gordon, PMHCNS/NP-BC


Human beings have an emotional heart; that is, a soul, psyche, mind or spirit that reacts with the biochemistry of the emotional centers of our brain. This “Theory of Mind” has been studied by psychologists as a way of understanding people in various mental states. I believe this theory could go even deeper into the mind-heart connection.

As humans, we often refuse to look beyond the boundaries of our own thoughts, purpose, and opinions. We neglect our heart’s “mind” to help us understand the stranger, friend, or family member standing beside us. As a result, we lack the empathy, compassion, kindness, and understanding to relate to our own similar anxieties, frustrations, and fears, often because of a simple difference of opinion or personal view.

Sometimes all a person needs to restore hope is a simple expression of kindness– to be acknowledged with a smile, warm eye contact, a friendly “hello,” or a helping hand. Reaching out in this way links the human experience with a positive experience, and it enables us to feel positively about other people. These feelings of hope and kindness trigger a biochemical reaction in our brain that could lead to a “chain reaction” and be passed on to others. This is what I call the Chain of Human Dignity…

Diagnosis Digest:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have difficulty with:

  • paying attention
  • organizational skills
  • impulse control
  • recognizing social cues
  • emotional regulation

Early intervention with diagnosis and treatment by a qualified professional, including evaluation of health, sleep, and nutrition habits can improve outcomes in executive function and social skills, which can impact performance both in the classroom and in the workplace. If your child is struggling with ADHD, here are a few tips to help:

  • Teach conversation courtesy & listening skills
  • Explain expressions & figures of speech
  • Practice organizational skills like list-making, prioritization, sticky notes, etc.
  • Develop calming and refocusing strategies for frustrations and setbacks
  • Enlist the help of teachers and administrators to reinforce executive function and organizational skills

Post Partum Depression

Written by Amanda Eblin, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Motherhood is a major life adjustment and challenge for all women. Having to transition to caring for another addition to your family 24/7 while recovering from childbirth, along with severe sleep deprivation is no easy task. For most, the expectations and dreams about parenthood are much different than the reality.

Postpartum depression is the most common complication after childbirth. It often goes undiagnosed by clinicians and unreported by patients. Many new mothers are afraid to speak up for fear of judgement or stigma around the disorder. Postpartum depression differentiates from the “Baby Blues” based on symptom severity and duration of the disorder (symptoms must be present for a minimum of 4 weeks with postpartum depression).

The most common symptoms may include hopelessness, depressed mood, changes in appetite, irritability, difficulty with infant bonding and attachment, and intrusive thoughts. Risk factors include having a high risk pregnancy, first delivery, lack of social support, unplanned pregnancy, and difficult infant temperament. Other postpartum mood disorders women may also experience include postpartum anxiety or postpartum psychosis.

There are multiple treatment options for those suffering from postpartum depression. These treatments include psychotherapy, group therapy, or psychotropic medications. In 2019, the FDA approved the very first medication for postpartum depression, known as brexanolone. Other off-label medications may be SSRIs (most commonly Zoloft) or SNRIs. For women needing more intensive treatment, academic medical centers are developing reproductive psychiatry programs. In fact, UNC Medical Center opened the country’s very first Inpatient Perinatal Psychiatry Unit.

It takes a village to raise a child, so if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out! There is help available.

Meet our team!

Our practice is growing! We now have 8 clinicians available for both therapy and medication management.


Steven M Gordon, PMHCNS/NP-BC, Owner


Jennifer Jones, Director


Dr. Samantha A. Rogers, DNP, PMHNP-BC


Dr. Elsa DeLeonardo, DNP, PMHNP-BC


Derek Walcker, PMHNP-BC


Yvonne Swann, PMHNP-BC


Kristen Nagl, PMHNP-BC


Dr. Amanda Eblin, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Braden Headshot

Kim Braden, PMHNP-BC


Sherry Proctor, Social Media & Patient Services Manager


Danielle DiTomasso, Patient Services Coordinator

Be sure to follow Synergy Strive on    and    for info, resources, and inspiration!

Hope Scope

Personal Perspectives on Mental Health

images “Survival Tactics” Written by a Synergy Strive patient When I experienced a delusional manic episode at 26, I was faced with a decision. I had the choice of accepting my bipolar diagnosis and moving forward with treatment, or denying that anything was wrong and simply forcing myself to exist as an anxious, depressed, delusional mess until I died. That’s how it felt, at least. So I chose survival. Adaptation. Medication. Therapy. Guidance. Understanding. It wasn’t a hard decision.


To call my life since my diagnosis a roller coaster would be an understatement, but, when the pandemic hit, I noticed something. I had felt like I was in survival mode for years, just trying to be alive from day to day. Suddenly, everyone was right there with me. People were dying. People were scared. Things changed so quickly that people did not know what to do.


Masks. Social distancing Stay at home orders. Sanitation. Vaccines. Boosters. We were given answers and guidance. It wasn’t easy, though. It was confusing. There was conflicting information. There was misinformation. It was a lot. Too much. People wanted things to just go back to the way they were, but things didn’t.


I get upset. I’m an essential worker in a medical field. I have patients who downright refuse to accept that it is time for humanity to adapt. All they can focus on is returning to their old routines. They should be looking at life and it’s new challenges and asking how best to adjust.


It’s life or death. Survive.


We are the most adaptable species on Earth. We can do anything. This is a moment for all of us. A time for change. For improvement. It won’t get better if we stick to old traditions. We can’t long for the past. The old ways of the world are archaic and dated. We can be better for it, though. We can improve on the past as we move forward with life. We just need to keep living. Adapting. Surviving. No matter what. Choose the path that leads to another day.