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What is Social Pain and Why It’s More Common Than Ever

What is Social Pain and Why It’s More Common Than Ever

Social pain isn’t a term one hears often. But in the last year, the number of people suffering from social pain is greater than ever due to the effects of the pandemic. Social distancing, unexpected deaths from covid-19, canceled events and plans, and political unrest are just a few contributors to the increased number of people experiencing social pain. 

What is Social Pain?

Social pain refers to the painful emotions caused by situations involving other people. Emotions include but are not limited to feeling rejected, alone, ostracized, devalued, abandoned, disconnected, and grief. A study by the University of Sao Paulo suggests the pandemic has caused a substantial spike in social pain. Social pain is often a reaction to the loss of relationships by way of rejection, abandonment, moving away, death, etc. Social distancing and quarantining has increased the negative emotions associated with social pain due to the lack of contact with people whose relationships we value. 

The Benefit of Social Pain

Like physical pain, the function of social pain is to alert us to threats to our social well-being. In turn, these emotions will deter us from doing things that undermine our relationships. Social pain often leads us to make more effort to maintain intact relationships.

How to Cope with Social Pain

Social pain is not unmanageable. In fact, most steps taken to treat these negative emotions are done at home. The first step to managing social pain is to accept that what you are feeling is real. These feelings are completely normal but do not indicate something is wrong with you. However, these emotions may mean your social connections are not where you want them to be. 

Managing your thoughts is the next step. Learning to train your thoughts away from the source of your pain keeps you from wallowing in your feelings. Find an interesting distraction like a hobby, music, reading, working out, or even watching a compelling movie or television show. Practicing meditation is another way to train your mind to control your thoughts. 

Social pain responds to sensorial experiences which means doing something as simple as moving your body or resting can take your mind off your pain. Looking at beautiful and colorful things, listening to music, taking a warm bath or shower, and even grabbing a hug from a loved one or pet living in your home can ease feelings of social pain. 

Finding ways to connect with others is also essential. The more personal and direct the communication is, the better it works to treat social pain. Video chats and phone calls work best but email and texts are better than nothing at all. Reminiscing with old photos, letters, or messages as well as thinking about positive memories of your loved one can also take away negative feelings. 

Of course, if your social pain lasts longer than two weeks or more with no relief, seek help from your healthcare provider. Mantachie Rural Health Care provides both medical and mental health care and can help you get over the hump of social pain. Click here to request an appointment now. 

Teens Active in Extracurriculars Have Stronger Mental Health

Teens Active in Extracurriculars Have Stronger Mental Health

Teens who participate in extracurricular activities tend to have better mental health than those who do not, according to a recent study published in the journal Preventive Medicine. The study, conducted among more than 28,000 seventh grade students across 365 schools in British Columbia, found that those who played sports or participated in the arts had fewer mental health issues than students who spent their free time behind a screen. 

This should come as no surprise. Physical activity and practicing a hobby or art are known to boost teens’ mental health. But in a pandemic year when many activities have been greatly altered or sidelined altogether, teens must get more creative and independent with keeping themselves busy and off the screens. 

How to Maintain Extracurricular Activities During the Pandemic

Many sports and activities have managed to continue in some capacity this year while others haven’t fared as well. Whether your child is participating in an extracurricular that is active this year or holding out for next year, it’s important to keep them on track and in practice for their chosen outlet. 

Encourage them in any way you can. Be a listening ear when they are practicing their music scales or volunteer to play the catcher when they want to practice their curveball. If your budget allows, spring for socially distanced lessons to help them improve their chosen sport or art. If not, check out the many free resources online including YouTube. Yes, we know this means putting your teen behind a screen. However, this counts as productive screen time and you can monitor their progress and lessons to ensure they’re not getting distracted. 

Limited Screen Time is Key to Teens Mental Health

The British Columbian study found that boys and girls overall fared far better mentally with less than two hours of screen time in addition to participating in extracurriculars. Even if your child can’t attend a band practice or art lesson, you can still limit their screen time. And you can encourage other productive activities like reading or learning a life skill. 

We know that limiting screen time during a pandemic is harder than usual. But we and other medical experts believe that making this sacrifice will ultimately reward you and your children in the long run. If your teen is struggling to stay strong mentally, we can help. Mantachie students can begin seeking help at our school-based clinic and continue treatment at our main clinic. Dial 662-282-4226 or request an appointment online to learn more. 

What Happens When You Quit Smoking: A Timeline

What Happens When You Quit Smoking: A Timeline

Following through on your decision to quit smoking is hard. Especially in the beginning. But, if you can tough it out through those crucial first few days and weeks, your body and health will reward you later. You don’t have to wait long to start noticing (good) changes in your body. In fact, your health begins improving just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Here’s what you can expect.

20 Minutes

Your blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal a mere 20 minutes after your last puff. Your hands and feet warm to normal temperature, too. 

8 – 12 Hours

Your blood now contains half the nicotine and carbon monoxide it had after your last smoke. Unfortunately, you’ll be able to feel this change through cravings and doubts about quitting. Push through it. These cravings typically only last about 5-10 minutes. Four short hours later, your heart is rejoicing because it no longer has to pump as hard. Your carbon monoxide levels are also now completely normal.

24-48 Hours

Your risk of a heart attack has lowered after just one day. After 48 hours, your sense of smell and taste have sharpened as the nerve endings in your nose and tongue heal. Your lungs are also expelling nasty mucus and gunk. You may feel tired, hungry, anxious, or dizzy. These are normal withdrawal symptoms. Warning: These symptoms will worsen before they get better. Keep going. After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice great improvement. If you have asthma, you may experience worsened symptoms in the first 48 hours. This is also normal and symptoms typically improve around day 3.

72 Hours

By day three your lungs are stronger and clearer. The fatigue you felt the day before is gone and you’ll have notably more energy.

Two Weeks to Three Months

The worst withdrawal symptoms should be over and your risk of a heart attack continues to decrease. Your blood flow has already improved and if you exercise you’ll notice you are less winded. 

Three to Nine Months

Your breathing is deeper and clearer. Your coughs are now helpful and you’ll likely have fewer colds and other respiratory illnesses. 

One Year

Congratulations! You’ve hit a major milestone. Your body rewards you with a better heart. Your risk of heart disease is cut in half. Celebrate your achievement!

Five Years

In half a decade, your risk of a stroke and cervical cancer are equivalent to that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, and bladder cancer has also decreased by half. 

10 Years

You are now half as likely to die of lung cancer as a smoker. Your risk of developing laryngeal or pancreatic cancer has dropped significantly. 

15 Years

Your chances of heart disease are now the same as a person who has never smoked. Time to celebrate again!

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics

Antibiotics are one of the most misunderstood types of medicine in the world. Many people misuse them simply because they don’t know any better. However, misusing these medications can result in serious consequences which is why the information in today’s blog is so important. Take a look at what you need to know about antibiotics.

What are antibiotics?

These medications stop bacterial infections. First discovered about a century ago during the 1920s, they advanced modern medicine forever. Surgeries became safer and doctors now cured bacterial infections many of which they considered deadly before the discovery.

Doctors prescribe two main types of antibiotics, broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum. As the name suggests, broad-spectrum treats a wide range of infections while narrow-spectrum treats specific types of infection. The varying types of antibiotics are important reasons why you should never give someone else one of these medications which were prescribed for you.

Types of infections treated with antibiotics include:

  • Strep throat
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Dental infections
  • Skin infections
  • Whooping cough
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Bladder or kidney infections

You’ll notice that illnesses like stomach viruses and colds are not listed because these medications cannot treat viruses. In most cases, your provider will tell you to wait out the virus or prescribe an anti-viral drug if one is available for your particular infection.

These drugs can pose a number of side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In rarer instances, antibiotics can result in hives, coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing. These symptoms are signs of an allergy to the specific medication you are taking or they could also be a sign that you are allergic to more than one or all antibiotics. People with known allergies are especially at risk when given an antibiotic prescribed to someone else and they should never, ever take these medications except under the strict prescription and observation of their healthcare provider. 

Other Crucial Information

If you’re a woman on birth control, your healthcare provider should warn you to use other methods of contraception while taking an antibiotic. They can disrupt the effectiveness of your birth control medication. They can also cause vaginal yeast infections in some women.

Overuse of these medications is one of the most common ways people misuse these powerful medicines. Unfortunately, overuse can result in a sometimes deadly resistance to antibiotics. How does this happen? Over time, bacteria adapt and become “super bacteria” that are untreatable with medication. The best way to avoid overuse is to only take medications as your provider prescribes them. If your provider tells you you don’t need this type of medication, listen to them. 

Patient education is important to us and your health often depends on understanding basic health information like today’s details on antibiotics. One way you can increase your understanding of health information is to visit your healthcare provider each year for a primary care checkup. During this appointment, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about your health or general health information. To schedule your primary care appointment with us, click here.

The Benefits of Choosing a Nurse Practitioner for Your Primary Care

The Benefits of Choosing a Nurse Practitioner for Your Primary Care

Nurse practitioners are the heartbeat of our clinic and provide most of the primary and urgent care services we offer at Mantachie Rural Health Care. In recent years, nurse practitioners have proven more important to the healthcare industry than ever before, especially related to primary care. In fact, you might say nurse practitioners have set a new standard for primary care and here’s why. 

Nurse Practitioners Offer a Higher Quality of Care

According to Columbia Doctors/Nurse Practitioners Group, more than 80 percent of nurse practitioners train in primary care. At least half of all NP’s have hospital privileges. These privileges allow NP’s to admit and order services for their patients. 

Nurse practitioners also focus on providing counseling and patient education as part of their patients’ primary care. They consider factors like the patient’s lifestyle and both their physical and mental well-being when it comes to determining the type of care the patient needs. Nurse practitioners provide care for the whole person rather than focusing on one or two health concerns. 

What Can a Nurse Practitioner Do?

To put it simply, nurse practitioners can do just about anything doctors can do, except performing surgical procedures on their own. NP’s can determine diagnoses and provide treatment for acute and chronic illnesses. They can also order diagnostic tests like x-rays and blood tests, and become board-certified in specialties like family care and women’s health. 

Why Should I Choose a Nurse Practitioner for My Primary Care?

If the reasons above aren’t enough, perhaps you’ll be convinced by knowing that nurse practitioners are more accessible than doctors. This means no waiting weeks or even months to get an appointment. 

You’ll also appreciate the shorter wait times and the diverse services offered. Nurse practitioners seek to meet all of the needs of their local community regardless of how different each one might be. Our NPs allow us to offer a wide range of services from diabetes care to women’s health care. Our NPs also provide primary and urgent care services for the whole family. This includes childhood immunizations and yearly checkups for the whole family. 

The experienced nurse practitioners at Mantachie Rural Health Care want to help manage you and your family’s health care. Get started with us today by requesting a primary care checkup here.

Why Health Literacy Matters

Why Health Literacy Matters

Health literacy refers to our ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information. Health experts consider this skill so important they dedicated an entire month (October) to bringing awareness to health literacy. But if we have medical experts to tell us what we need why is it important to understand the information behind their recommendations?

Let’s Start with Antibiotics

Have you ever taken antibiotics leftover from another infection to treat a cold? Did it work? We didn’t think so. Doctors never prescribe antibiotics to treat a cold or flu because antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections. Colds and the flu are caused by viruses, which don’t respond to antibiotics.

Understanding basic health information like knowing the difference between a viral and a bacterial infection, as well as the proper treatment, isn’t just important to your medical providers. Health literacy can save lives. 

Doctors and nurse practitioners prescribe antibiotics for a specific length of time to treat the full infection. This means you shouldn’t have any leftover. Taking less than the full dose leads your body open to a resurgence of the initial infection.

Another reason to understand antibiotics is that no two antibiotics are exactly the same and most treat different ailments. Only a medical provider or pharmacist can determine which type of antibiotic is best suited for each circumstance.

How you can improve your own health literacy

The best way to improve your health literacy is to visit your provider for regularly-scheduled wellness checkup and ask them questions about your health. When you visit your provider because you’re sick ask questions then, too. Ask them to explain what is causing your illness and why they are prescribing the treatment they’ve chosen. 

Reputable online medical resources such as Mayo Clinic and Healthline are excellent sources of basic health information.  Remember, however, when you review information online to discuss your findings with your provider to confirm that the information’s accuracy. Our own blog, which you are reading now, offers an excellent, viable source of information fact-checked by our own medical team.

Are you looking for a medical provider who wants to help you understand your health and the conditions that are affecting it? Mantachie Rural Health Care strives to educate our patients in hopes that it will inspire them to better help. Become a patient with us now by scheduling an annual wellness exam with one of our providers. 

How to Stay Safe at the Clinic during Non-Coronavirus Health Visits

How to Stay Safe at the Clinic during Non-Coronavirus Health Visit

As we write this, the entire state of Mississippi is experiencing an upswing in confirmed coronavirus diagnosis. It’s more important now than ever to practice CDC guidelines to stay safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Staying home and avoiding unnecessary trips to public places including health facilities are among the steps we should take to slow the spread of the virus. But when you become sick with a non-coronavirus related illness or need a prescription refilled, a health visit is unavoidable. Here’s what you can do to stay safe at the clinic.

Find out your clinic’s safety requirements before your visit. 

Most clinics are taking extreme precautions and measures to protect their patients and staff. Find out your clinic’s policies on masks and social distancing, as well as their cleaning and sanitizing protocols. Most clinics will have restrictions in place regarding how many people are allowed inside and how many visitors can accompany a patient even for a non-coronavirus health visit. Expect temperature checks and symptom screenings at every clinic entrance. 

Ask about their protocol for possible coronavirus patients.

Knowing what your clinic is doing to protect you and others from exposure to coronavirus is one way to ease any anxiety you have about your visit. Every clinic should have a protocol in place that keeps patients with coronavirus-related symptoms totally isolated.

Take your own protective measures.

Do your part to protect yourself and help slow the spread of coronavirus. Wear a mask to the clinic and other public places. Sanitize or wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after touching public surfaces. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth and stay 6 feet away from others. 

Mantachie Rural Health Care is committed to protecting you and all of our patients and staff. If you are sick or have an urgent health matter, don’t put off visiting your provider because of coronavirus fears. A known illness or emergency can be more dangerous to your health than the possibility of a virus. We are taking every measure possible to keep our clinic safe. Request an appointment with us at 662-282-4226.

Read next: 4 Dangers to Skipping Your Child’s Wellness Check-up

4 Dangers to Skipping Your Child’s Wellness Check-Up

4 Dangers to Skipping Your Child's Wellness Check-Up

In the midst of COVID-19 quarantine, healthcare providers noticed a worrying trend. Parents, concerned about their children’s health, postponed their child’s wellness check-ups. Was that vaccination or height and weight check really worth exposing their family to a deadly virus? 

Thankfully in Mississippi, the virus has not been as rampant as in other parts of the country. As we slowly return to a new normal, it’s time for parents to reschedule those wellness check-ups. Here’s what happens if they don’t.

Resurgence of eradicated diseases

We were already seeing higher instances of measles and other diseases for which we have vaccines. Some parents chose not to vaccinate their children and others chose to alter the schedule of vaccines. We’ve written about the dangers of those practices before. What we’re seeing now is parents who would ordinarily have their child vaccinated on a schedule have skipped or pushed back those vaccinations. The last thing we want is measles or other diseases compounding the threat of the Coronavirus our healthcare system is fighting.

Vaccination schedules are based on the ages when children are most vulnerable to specific diseases. By skipping those vaccines, children are wide open for infection. If your child was scheduled for vaccinations that were postponed during the height of the Coronavirus, it’s time to schedule those vaccines and wellness check-ups now.

Delayed intervention for developmental delays

First-time parents are less likely to notice developmental delays because they have nothing for comparison. If Baby Tim isn’t crawling when he should or Little Jane isn’t starting to speak on time, your child’s pediatrician can help you decide if it’s time to sound the alarm or wait it out. 

Your pediatrician is your partner in your child’s health and growth. They’ve monitored hundreds (often thousands) of children over their career. In addition, they and their staff know the community resources available to you. If your child needs early intervention, they can help. Any parent of a child with developmental delays will tell you that early intervention is key to helping your child live their best life.

Unseen medical problems

Once a child reached school-age years, many parents forgot about yearly wellness exams even before the pandemic. Wellness exams for school-aged children include vision and hearing checks. These senses greatly affect your child’s quality of life, but you may not notice small difficulties. The wellness exams also include blood pressure checks along with height, weight, and BMI measurements.

Lack of partnership

As we mentioned earlier, your pediatrician is your partner in your child’s health. Their input during the early years of your child’s life is invaluable, but so is their contribution as your child gets older. They can help with difficult conversations around puberty, drug and alcohol use, and sex. No doctor is a substitute for parental involvement, but they can also help you find your way through these conversations. They can be another adult resource for your child as they age. Eventually, they will become an adult. By establishing healthy habits of yearly wellness visits and trust in their medical doctor, you’ll help your child continue a healthy life long after they’ve flown the nest.

If it’s time for your child’s wellness check-up or if you missed a check-up over the last few months, now’s the time to schedule your appointment. We’re keeping our offices sanitized and following the CDC’s best practices to protect you, your family, and our staff.

Light Up the Night: Fireworks Safety

Light Up the Night: Fireworks Safety

Something about fireworks in the summertime brings a community together. Every year thousands of people light up their own yards and streets with fireworks. In Mississippi, the stands are on every corner in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July. We want your family to remember summer fireworks as a fun time, not that time dad or sister had to go to the ER. So before you light the fuse on your first Roman candle take a look at these fireworks safety standards.

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Pay attention to others lighting fireworks and steer clear of them
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person even as a joke
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket, the friction could set them off
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a glass or metal container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks (legal fireworks have the manufacturer’s name and direction on them; illegal fireworks do not)
  • Never try to make your own fireworks
  • Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk they will run away or injure themselves trying to escape the noise
  • Keep 500 feet from the launching pad
  • Don’t pick up the debris immediately after shooting fireworks. The debris may still be hot or may reignite or explode at any time.
  • Teach your children to stop, drop, and roll if they are hit by a firework and their clothing catches fire.

In case of injuries

For eye injuries:

  • Don’t rub or touch the eye
  • Don’t try to wash the eye or apply ointment
  • Seek medical attentional immediately

For burns:

  • Carefully clip any clothing away from the burn.
  • Make sure the burn is clean and dry.
  • If the burn is larger than the palm of your hand or affects the face, ears, toes or fingers, seek medical attention. 
  • Apply cool water but avoid soaking the burn in ice. 
  • Over-the-counter pain medications can be used to treat pain from the burn. 
  • Small burns can be treated at home with antibiotic ointment or aloe. 
  • Seek medical attention if the burns don’t heal.

Herb Garden Yields Multiple Health Benefits

Herb Garden Yields Multiple Health Benefits

In the South, everyone knows someone who has a garden, even if they don’t have one themselves. Getting started with a vegetable garden can be a daunting task, especially if you have a small yard or pets who like to dig. If you’re looking for an easy way to start gardening with optimal results consider starting with an herb garden.

Health Benefits

Herbs themselves offer health benefits. Sage may improve memory. Peppermint is known to relieve IBS symptoms. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory. And basil can improve your immunity. 

In addition to the direct benefits of herbs, gardening provides its own benefits. The physical work of gardening counts toward your exercise quota for the day. It also improves mental well-being and relieves stress.

Saves Money

Have you bought herbs at the grocery store lately? Whether you purchase herbs dried or fresh, they can cost a pretty penny. Having fresh herbs right outside your door allows you the benefit without the cost. Herbs may be grown easily through seeds, which are generally inexpensive. Many herbs grow in plentiful amounts which allows you to share with neighbors and friends.

Easy to grow in small spaces

Herbs look as pretty as some shrubs and greenery. You can plant them in front or side flower beds even if you don’t have room for a garden in the back. Apartment dwellers can plant in pretty pots, which take up much less space than a truck patch garden.

Learn something

Growing plants from seeds teaches us all something. We can learn about different varieties of plants and how they grow best. Some herbs like well-drained soil while others prefer to keep it wet. Researching different varieties of herbs and how they grow best is a great exercise for the entire family.

You can also learn new recipes and which herbs go best with certain dishes. Being able to grow your own food gives you some independence regardless of how the shelves at the grocery store look. 

A starting point

The most common and easiest herbs to grow in pots include:

  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Bay
  • Parsley

Don’t stop here. Research different varieties of herbs or which herbs go best with your favorite dishes. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try growing something different. You might find a new favorite.


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