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Should You Discuss Your Mental Health Struggles with Your Boss?

Should You Discuss Your Mental Health Struggles with Your Boss?

Mental health is a hot topic these days and many patients are more open about their mental health struggles than ever before. (Read about why tennis star Naomi Osaka decided to open up about her mental health here.) However, many people still find it difficult to open up about their mental health in their workplace. As understandable as this is, everyone has a right to privacy, but in some circumstances, you may benefit from discussing your mental health struggles with your boss. 

How to Decide if You Should Talk with Your Boss About Your Mental Health

Deciding if you should talk with your boss about your mental health depends on your relationship with them. Do they know you well and are you comfortable discussing private matters with them? Or do you work in a company in which you rarely see your boss and you are sure they don’t know your name? Knowing who you are working for is extremely important.

If your mental health is impacting your job in any way, even if it creates a problem with a co-worker, it may be time to discuss your mental health. If you still don’t feel comfortable, you have some rights as an employee to protect yourself. Ask your mental health provider to complete an FMLA form (Family Medical Leave Act) to protect yourself in case you need to take time off for treatment. Your HR department is obligated to protect your privacy and will not disclose your medical information to anyone, including your boss. If your company has 15 or more employees, you are also protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Preparing to Talk with Your Boss About Your Mental Health

If you’ve decided to talk with your boss, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Making a list of discussion topics to cover can help ease your anxiety and help your thoughts stay organized during your meeting. You should also know your rights as an employee before any discussion begins. Mental health costs employers a whopping $225.8 billion a year. Even if you don’t know your employer well it is still in their best interest, as well as yours, to listen. 

Your mental health provider can also help you prepare for your meeting. They can help you decide what to share with your employer, and they can help you prepare mentally for any anxiety or stress you are feeling about the meeting. 

Is your mental health impacting your job and other areas of your life? Don’t struggle alone. Talk with your mental health provider as soon as possible. The providers at our behavioral health clinic are highly experienced and caring providers who want their patients to succeed. Request an appointment today at 662-282-4226. 

Why Skin Cancer is Rising Among Young Adults

A health crisis is happening right now at rising rates among millennials. 

We’re talking about skin cancer.

There are several forms of skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. 

Basal cells produce new skin cells as old ones die. This cancer appears as a white, waxy lump or brown, scaly patch on areas of the skin that receive sun exposure. Melanoma begins in the cells that produce melanin, or your skin’s pigment. Symptoms appear as an unusual growth or changes in moles on your skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by an overproduction of abnormal squamous cells. This type of cancer may appear as scaly, red patches, open sores, raised growths with a central depression and thickened wart-like skin. 

Let’s talk about why skin cancer is rising among young adults.

Why Skin Cancer is Rising Among Millennials and Gen Z

A recent survey published by the American Academy of Dermatology found that a lack of education about the dangers of tanning and too much sun exposure is associated with why skin cancer is rising among young adults.  

The survey revealed that 37 percent of millennials who participated in the research didn’t know that tanning can cause skin cancer. Forty-two percent of those millennials were also unaware that UV rays can penetrate through clothing. This lack of understanding is why millennials and the generation that follows them, Generation Z, continue to use tanning beds and fail to use sunscreen during long periods outdoors. 

Even young adults who do understand the dangers of Uv exposure and skin cancer are choosing to ignore the warnings and continue to tan. Both millennials and Gen Z are known as risk-taking generations who are lifestyle-oriented. A 2018 survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association revealed that over half of millennials surveyed believe a tan makes a person more attractive and healthy-looking. 

What Young Adults Can Do to Prevent Skin Cancer

The first step young adults can take to prevent skin cancer is to stop using the tanning bed and start wearing sunscreen every time they go outside. Wear protective clothing and a hat when spending long periods of time outdoors. Young parents spending long hours at the ballfield or beach during the summer should invest in a canopy tent to provide protection from the sun. 

Of course, young adults should visit their medical provider for regular, routine checkups at least once a year. Medical providers perform a number of screenings, including skin checks for signs of cancer, during these routine checkups. If they detect a problem, patients are referred to a dermatologist for further evaluation. 

Need to schedule your annual wellness checkup? Dial 662-282-4226 or click here to request a visit with one of our experienced providers at Mantachie Rural Healthcare. 

How Diabetes Affects Your Vision Health

Diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system but it can affect just about every other organ and organ system in your body including your eyes. Diabetes can lead to several eye conditions and it is the primary cause of blindness in people with diabetes between the ages of 20 and 74. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at how diabetes affects your vision health and what you can do to lower your risk of developing one of these conditions. 

Why Diabetes Affects Your Vision Health

Diabetes is a metabolic condition affecting the way your body produces insulin. It can lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, and hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hyperglycemia can lead to a number of vision health problems while hypoglycemia can result in temporary blurry vision. 

Four Eye Conditions Caused by Diabetes

Each of these conditions can affect people with and without diabetes. However, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for these vision problems. 

  • Blurry vision. Hypoglycemia is just one of the ways diabetes can lead to blurry vision. Some patients experience blurry vision when they begin insulin treatment. Long-term blurry vision may be caused by diabetic retinopathy, a group of vision conditions caused by diabetes. 
  • Cataracts. The natural internal lens in the eye works like a camera, allowing your eyes to take images of the world around you. If the lens becomes cloudy, a cataract has formed. In addition to cloudy, blurry vision, older people with diabetes may also experience near-sightedness due to cataracts. 
  • Glaucoma. Your eye needs fluid to function properly. When the eyes don’t get enough fluid, pressure builds up. This condition is known as glaucoma. Glaucoma can damage the nerves and blood vessels leading to changes in vision. The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, can be treated with medication. Open-angle glaucoma may not produce any symptoms until it is further along. Less common glaucoma forms may lead to headaches, blurred vision, eye pain, halos around lights, watery eyes, and even vision loss. 
  • Diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the eye’s retina. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Other types of retinopathy include:
    • Background retinopathy. This is a “milder” form of diabetic retinopathy in which the blood vessels are damaged but your vision is still okay. 
    • Maculopathy. The macula is the part of the retina that helps you see clearly for reading, driving, and other activities. Diabetes can damage this part of the retina resulting in maculopathy. Swelling from this condition can lead to serious eye problems if left untreated. 
    • Proliferative retinopathy. When the cells at the back of the eye don’t receive enough oxygen, new blood vessels may form. These blood vessels are very fragile and can easily develop blood clots which can cause scarring and pull the retina away from the back of the eye. A detached retina can lead to irreversible vision loss. Some cases of proliferative retinopathy can be treated if caught early.

How You Can Protect Your Vision Health

The best way to protect your eye health is to keep your blood sugar levels in check as often as possible. If you are having trouble with hyperglycemia, it’s time to re-visit your diabetes health provider to discuss changes in insulin treatment. You should also visit your eye doctor regularly for an eye exam and to discuss your diabetes and changes in your vision. 

Another way to protect your vision and other areas of your health affected by diabetes is to educate yourself about your condition. Our website is a great source for diabetes education and we offer a diabetes education class each month at Mantachie Rural Healthcare. To learn more about our diabetes education program or how we can help you manage your diabetes, call 662-282-4226. 

Naomi Osaka’s Battle with Depression

Naomi Osaka is a 23-year-old tennis rock star who has won four major titles and is second in the world of female tennis competitors. She’s also the highest-paid female athlete in the world, bringing in a whopping $55 million in endorsements and prize money in 2020. But she made headlines in June 2021 when she withdrew from competing in the French Open after playing only one match. Her reason for withdrawing from the competition? To focus on Osaka’s battle with depression.

That’s right. You can be one of the top tennis stars in the world and still suffer from mental illness. 

Before the French Open began, Osaka announced that she would not participate in post-match interviews in an effort to safeguard her mental health. Staying true to her word, Osaka skipped out on interviews following her first and only match at the 2021 French Open. This decision drew sharp criticism from reporters and others who felt that she should have participated in interviews like the other athletes. Osaka was also fined $15,000 and received a threat from French Open officials to suspend her from the competition. In turn, Osaka decided to withdraw from the Open. 

Osaka’s Battle with Depression

Osaka told officials that she had been suffering from long bouts of depression since winning the US Open in 2018. Since withdrawing from the French Open, Osaka has also withdrawn from competing in the German and Australian Opens. 

Depression is characterized by sadness and disinterest in doing normal, everyday things. As you can see, it can affect anyone of any age, no matter their talents, popularity, athletic ability, or financial status. 

Despite initial criticism, Osaka has since received praise and support from fans. Many even find her decision to withdraw from these competitions to be inspiring for others who are suffering from a mental health condition. 

It’s important to know that praise and support are not enough to “cure” Osaka’s depression. Although depression patients find more success in treatment when they have the support of family and friends, depression is a real health condition that needs treatment from medical and mental health professionals. 

If you are suffering from depression symptoms, don’t keep fighting alone. Mantachie Rural Healthcare offers behavioral health services by licensed and highly experienced mental health professionals who truly care about their patients and the patient’s success. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, dial 662-282-4226. 

What is PTSD? Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder caused by trauma. The trauma can be mental or physical or both. It can happen to anyone but is common among soldiers and victims of violence or emotional abuse. Illnesses can also cause PTSD.

Signs and Symptoms 

If you’ve experienced trauma, watch for these signs. PTSD can occur immediately after the event or years later. The types of symptoms include intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in mood and changes in physical and emotional reaction. 

Intrusive memories

  • Recurring, unwanted memories of the event.
  • Reliving the event in flashbacks.
  • Upsetting nightmares.
  • Severe emotional distress or reaction to something that reminds you of the event. 

Avoidance

  • Avoiding thinking about it or talking about it.
  • Avoiding people, places, or activities that remind you of the trauma. 

Negative changes in mood

  • Negative thoughts about yourself and others or the world
  • Hopelessness
  • Memory trouble
  • Trouble maintaining relationships
  • Feeling detached from others
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed. 
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in Reactions

  • Always on guard
  • Easily startled
  • Self-destruction like using drugs or alcohol
  • Difficulty concentrating and sleeping
  • Guilt or shame
  • Outbursts

In children 6 years or younger

  • Reenacting events in play
  • Terrifying nightmares

The feelings can be intense and you should seek outside help to learn to cope and move on. Mantachie Rural Healthcare offers behavioral health services including counseling for PTSD. Don’t suffer alone, get help now. Click here to schedule an appointment

Men’s Health Tips

Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor.  But not taking care of yourself and skipping the doc’s office will send you to an early grave. Follow these men’s health tips for a long life. 

Eat Well. 

A healthy, well-balanced diet is key to keeping your body in good condition and running strong. A healthy plate is colorful and contains protein, green veggies, and grains. Drink lots of water and you’ve got what it takes. 

Stop tobacco use. 

It’s no secret tobacco is terrible for your entire body. If you use, find a way to quit. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, try again. It’s worth the hard weeks and months to get your lungs and heart healthy. 

Get moving. 

Join a gym, a bicycling club, or gardening club to stay active. Walking is one of the best workouts and it’s free! You need at least two hours of aerobic cardio a week to stay fit. Yoga also works out tired muscles and keeps your body flexible. It’s not just a woman’s workout…men can benefit, too. 

Get rid of the gut. 

Following a healthy diet and staying active will cure a flabby belly. Perhaps you don’t mind your gut but it’s actually a sign of heart and other possible health problems. Talk to your provider before beginning a new diet or workout regimen. 

Buckle up.

Seatbelts save lives. Use it every time you get into the car. Accidents are a common killer of men. Don’t become a  statistic. While we’re talking about safety, remember to wear safety glasses when you work and a helmet on a bike and other moving toys. Don’t drive recklessly and pay attention. 

You have a long life ahead of you. Enjoy every minute of it with a healthy body. These tips get you started, but to maintain your health remember to visit your doctor for yearly check-ups. If you’re one of the thousands of men without a primary care physician, we’ve got you. Our providers are always accepting new patients.

Meet Our New Behavioral Health Provider Elizabeth Duncan, PMHNP

Elizabth Duncan, PMHNP,  has always had a desire to help people. It’s no wonder that she’s put that desire to work for 46 years as a nurse. She’s spent 28 of those years as a family nurse practitioner and 14 years as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. 

“I love helping people. It’s not a job, it’s something I enjoy. I can help them get well if they want to get well,” said Duncan.

Duncan moved to Batesville in 2005 where she worked with Region 4 Mental Health before moving to Itawamba County to help care for her mother-in-law who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Duncan worked for Right Track in 2020 before joining the Mantachie Rural Healthcare staff in 2021. 

Much of Duncan’s psychiatric work consists of treating patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, sleep issues, and school and life issues. Duncan says patients often come in with challenges that have made them cautious about getting treatment. Those challenges include failure with other providers. Duncan encourages her patients to try one more time if they were unhappy with their first appointment. 

“I’ve never seen anyone I couldn’t help, if they wanted to be helped,” she said. 

Duncan says another big challenge for both patient and provider is trust. Patients often face difficulty trusting their provider with their private and personal problems. For Duncan and other professionals in her field, the challenge is getting the patient to open up and be real about the issues they are facing. 

Duncan wants her current and future patients to know that she is available and here to help. She wants to help her patients have better functioning lives and to know that she truly cares about them and getting them the help they need.

When asked about her most memorable experience as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Duncan said that moment happened on her last day working in Corinth. She had been caring for a patient who was going to be placed on disability. The patient had both physical and psychiatric health issues. 

He told Duncan, “I might as well not have been alive. You were my last hope.” 

That patient is now working as a manager a large plant. 

When she’s not treating patients, Duncan, who grew up on a farm, enjoys gardening in her raised beds and when time allows, fishing. 

As you can see, Elizabeth Duncan is a caring provider who will go the extra mile to help her patients get better and live a full life. To schedule an appointment with Duncan, dial 662-262-4226 or click here.

Family Fitness Tips

An unhealthy family is an unhappy family. We’re not being dramatic. Studies show that unfit, unhealthy people are prone to anxiety and depression. Take a leadership role in getting your family fit with these health tips. 

Be the example.

Nothing teaches your kids healthy habits like seeing you follow them yourself. Let them see you working out, staying active, and eating well. It’s guaranteed to inspire them to do the same.

Serve healthy meals. 

Young children are still developing their palates so be patient if they refuse to eat their veggies at first. “Sneak” in healthy foods if you can’t get them to eat by making fun meals like butternut squash mac n cheese and buffalo cauliflower. Make healthy pizzas together on thin crusts made of pita and other healthier choices than flour (try cauliflower!) and let the kids toss on the healthy veggies. Avoid unhealthy toppings like pepperoni and sausage. Go for tomatoes, peppers, spinach, and other veggies. Cheese is okay, you need dairy in your diet. Just avoid adding extra to your pie. 

Find fun ways to stay active. 

Sign everyone up for a fun class like Zumba or Yoga so you can stay fit together. Join a bicycling group or walking club. Head outside to the garden and teach your kids about science while getting healthy and showing them how fun it is to grow your own food. 

Make a schedule.

You’re more likely to do exercise or attend a fitness class if it’s on the calendar. Add it in with your ball games and recreational classes to make sure you do it. 

Set fitness goals. 

Again, you’re more likely to do it if you’ve set a goal to achieve. Make your goals simple and easy to follow so you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. Build up to harder goals to keep it going. 

Keep your feet healthy.

Happy feet move better. Lotion them up, have your partner massage them and vice versa and do it regularly. 

Don’t skip working out because you’re stressed. 

That’s an even better motivation to work out your problems. Wallowing and avoiding moving will send you to an anxious, depressive place. Avoid it by staying active and eating healthy. 

Don’t forget Doggo. 

Walking the dog is a perfect way to keep your pets fit and you, too. Daily walks are necessities for dogs to be happy and healthy. What better way to start working out than with the best puppy partner ever?

You’re off to a good start by reading this article. Now take those tips and get the family moving!

What You Need to Know About Children’s Mental Health

Children’s mental health affects all aspects of their lives including their physical health, school success, and success at work and in society. However, out of the estimated 15 million children who could be diagnosed with a mental disorder, only 7 percent will receive the professional services they need. One way to increase this number and get more children the appropriate care is through education about children’s mental health disorders. 

Factors Affecting Children’s Mental Health

Several risk factors can affect a child’s mental health. Some children are born with genetic and biological factors which increase their risks for mental health disorders. Environmental factors like a child’s home life and where they live can also put them at a greater risk. Relationships with family members, teachers, fellow classmates, and other important people in a child’s life affects their mental health as well. 

Most Common Types of Children’s Mental Health Disorders

Understanding the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders affecting children helps parents to get their child the help they need. The following conditions are the most common children’s mental health disorders diagnosed today. 

  • Anxiety
    • Signs of anxiety include being afraid when away from parents and extreme fear of specific situations.
    • Social anxiety in school and fear of the future or of bad things happening are also common symptoms. 
    • Children with anxiety may suffer from repeated panic disorder episodes with symptoms including but not limited to sudden, unexpected, extreme fear, trouble breathing, pounding heart, and/or dizziness, shakiness, or sweating. 
  • Depression
    • Symptoms include feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable. Other signs are:
    • Changes in sleeping or eating habits.
    • Changes in energy, from being tired or sluggish to tense or restless.
    • Inability to focus or concentrate.
    • Feeling worthless, useless, or guilty.
    • Infliction of self-injury or self-destruction.
  • ADHD
    • Signs of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) such as a lack of focus and forgetting things easily are also accompanied by other symptoms such as:
    • Being prone to daydreaming often.
    • Impulsiveness
    • Fidgeting and/or talking too much
    • Trouble getting along with others
    • Making careless mistakes
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    • OCD consists of having unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again causing stress or anxiety. 
    • Other obvious signs include having to think or do something over and over again or perform a ritual following certain rules to stop obsessive thoughts. 
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • Children who act out so seriously that their behavior causes problems at home, school, or with peers may be diagnosed with ODD.
    • Behaviors of ODD include often being angry or easily losing one’s temper, arguing with adults or refusing to comply with rules set by authority figures, and being resentful or spiteful.
    • Children with ODD may also be easily annoyed by others or attempt to annoy others themselves, and they may also blame others for their mistakes or misbehaviors. 
  • Conduct Disorder
    • Conduct disorder occurs when a child persistently shows a pattern of aggression towards others and violates rules and social norms at home, school, and among peers.
    • Children with conduct disorder may display behaviors such as running away from home, staying out past curfew, skipping school, lying, causing damage to other people’s property, and being aggressive toward others. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Some children recover quickly from trauma while others suffer long-term effects with a condition known as PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • Signs of PTSD include reliving the traumatic event over and over again, having nightmares or difficulty sleeping, and becoming upset over memories of the event.
    • Other symptoms may also occur such as intense, ongoing sadness, irritability, angry outbursts, and being easily startled. 
    • Children with PTSD may also become withdrawn or lack positive emotions. 

If you believe your child is suffering from a mental health disorder Mantachie Rural Healthcare can help. Dial 662-282-4226 to request an appointment with our behavior health specialist. 

Celebrities Who Have Survived a Stroke

What do celebrities Frankie Muniz, Emilia Clarke, and Randy Travis have in common, aside from fame? They’re all survivors of stroke. 

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is suddenly reduced or interrupted, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the brain. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes, someone dies of a stroke. The celebrities mentioned in today’s blog survived their strokes but many other celebrities haven’t been so lucky. 

Randy Travis

One of country music’s most famous and adored voices nearly lost his voice for good following a massive stroke in 2013. The stroke came on the heels of being admitted to the hospital for viral cardiomyopathy caused by a severe viral upper respiratory infection. Travis did not sing again until three years later in 2016. He took another break from singing due to the stroke’s lingering side effects but recorded new music and performed a short tour in 2019 and 2020. 

Emilia Clarke

Just as she was on the brink of achieving major celebrity status with her new starring role as Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke was facing a secret health battle that nearly took her life in 2011 and 2013. The very young actress was still in her 20’s when she suffered her first stroke during a workout in 2011. Clarke wrote about her harrowing experience and how she continued to feel poorly after the stroke in a 2019 New Yorker article. Clarke was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, but the doctor didn’t feel it was large enough to be treated at the time. Two years later in 2013, Clarke was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on the aneurysm which had grown and erupted. During surgery, Clarke suffered her second stroke. Thankfully, Clarke recovered and has been feeling much better since recovering from stroke #2. 

Frankie Muniz

The former Malcolm in the Middle star enjoyed a successful career as a child actor and was continuing to find success as an adult when he suddenly suffered a stroke at age 26 in November 2012. Sadly, one year later, Muniz had another stroke which incurred memory loss. Muniz had forgotten his roles on Malcolm in the Middle and other films. Muniz took some time off work to recover and has been healing nicely ever since. 

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone was in the height of her career when a stroke sidelined her at age 43. Stone suffered an aneurysm followed by nine days of cerebral hemorrhaging in 2001. As a result, the Basic Instinct actress lost her ability to read, and she developed a stutter. Determined not to let her illness mark the end of her storied career, Stone worked with therapists to recover her ability to read and speak, and she is currently enjoying success from her new book, The Beauty of Living Twice

Samantha Morton

British actress Samantha Morton says she was “close to death” after her stroke in the mid-2000s. The actress took a year and a half off to recover before returning to work. 

Larry King

Larry King is one of the most well-known voices in the history of news media. That’s why the entire world was watching to see if King would survive his nearly fatal stroke in 2019. The news anchor, now in his late 80s, managed to recover and has returned to work. 


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