Thursday, April 07, 2011
New Internet Addiction screening

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

One of the things that I do in my office is administer screening tests. I have tests for depression, anxiety, mania, autism and Asperger's Disorder. The purpose of administering these tests is to create a more objective measurement of the degree of a person's symptoms. On March 24, a new test, the Internet Addiction Disorder test, was announced. The score from this test lets the individual know whether they need treatment for it. You can look up the site and take the test. What it does not make clear before you take the test is that it refers to any Internet activity which includes using your computer, texting and using things such as i-Phone apps. The questions include a variety of things and answers are scored from rarely to always. One question asks if you spend more time than you planned on Internet usage which is a sign of general addiction. When you spend more time on any activity than you plan, it means that you are having trouble separating from that activity. There are other similar questions about neglecting things that you should be doing because you are on the Internet. There are even questions about spending time on the Internet and not completing other required duties such as housework or schoolwork. There are questions about whether you are being told by others that you spend too much time on line. That includes becoming defensive about it when asked. There are questions related to difficulty shutting down the Internet access when you need to stop and do other things. That includes going to sleep at night. There are questions related to being depressed over not being online or becoming too excited about getting back on line. If any of these things sound familiar to you or sound like someone you know, it would be a wise idea to take the test. One thing we know about every form of addiction is that admitting the presence of it is the first step in correcting it. Therefore, it is important to take this test if you suspect that you or a family member might need to address Internet overuse.

Booth against Senate Bill 17 Senator Joe Booth (R-Georgetown) says the Senate's process was severely lacking in the consideration and passage of legislation recently to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Delaware. (Senate Bill 17 -- March 31, 2011). Senator Booth points out that "There was no input or testimony before the Senate from the Attorney General, nor from the Medical Society of Delaware." "The legislation also appears to be contrary to written federal law about controlled substances, and that conflict was not resolved to my satisfaction." "There were numerous questions about enforcement of various aspects of the law that were left unanswered, or were brushed off with 'Oh, that will be taken care of when they write the regulations'. "I am not convinced that a thorough enough job was done to adapt this 'national model' legislation to work in Delaware." Senator Booth is one of three downstate Republican Senators to vote against SB 17.

New Transitions website launched Delaware Hospice has launched a new support website for individuals and their family caregivers who are coping with a serious illness. Family caregivers suffer from a higher incidence of depression, isolation and financial hardships that result from the sacrifices they make to provide the care and support that is needed. Drawing upon the 24/7 accessibility of the Internet, Delaware Hospice created the "Living with a Serious Illness" Transitions website with articles addressing medical concerns, emotional-spiritual issues, and important legal and financial decisions. It also includes an online directory listing both local and national services – from those that help with the costs of medicines, to insurance counseling, support groups, transportation services and in-home health care. The website even offers a free e-newsletter with monthly articles filled with tips and resources to make family care-giving easier. To view the new Transitions support website, go to For more information about the website, or if you have concerns about a family member who is seriously ill, email Delaware Hospice at or call 1-800-838-9800.

Occupational therapy celebrated Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation department is celebrating National Occupational Therapy Month in April.This year's theme is "Living Life to Its Fullest." Occupational therapy addresses deficits and barriers that can limit a person's ability to perform basic daily activities. Occupational therapists help people learn new skills or adapt to a permanent loss of function to enable them to be as independent as possible in their normal environment. Occupational therapy's role in the hospital setting is to facilitate early mobilization, prevent further decline in function, begin restoring function, and coordinate care, including transition and discharge planning. Occupational therapy in the outpatient setting helps to improve function to enable individuals the ability to participate in daily living activities to the fullest extent possible. Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services outpatient occupational therapy department at the Mears campus also has a Lymphedema center which is one of only two treatment centers in Sussex County. For more information or questions regarding Occupational Therapy, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 5108 or the Mears Outpatient Campus at 629-6224, ext. 8613.

First Aid classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Tuesday, April 12, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive.

Classes are open to participants 13-years-old and up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing and skill practice. Cost is $30. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations (if seating is available) will be an additional $5 fee. To register, or for more information, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Healthy Brain workshop The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension along with its Sussex Mental Fitness partners invite the public to attend the "Brain Healthy Lifestyle: Feed Your Spirit" program on Thursday, April 28, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Cordrey Center in Millsboro. The event is free, but pre-registration is required in order to plan for refreshments that will be provided. Register by calling 856-5618. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.for check in. Young, old, or in between, it is never too late to challenge our brain and allow it to work for us at peak capacity. Practicing a Healthy Brain Lifestyle not only enhances your overall health by promoting exercise and nutrition, it asks your brain to work in new ways which helps to prevent diseases that can manifest in our more mature years. Featured speakers include Brent Marsh, Attracting Song Birds & Other Wildlife using Native Plants; Dr. Kim Furtado, Effects of Stress on Memory; and Stan Raskin, LaughterÉRx for a Healthy Brain. The Cordrey Center is located on the grounds of East Coast Garden Center, 30366 Cordrey Rd., in Millsboro.

Stroke Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is Tuesday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m., at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Professional training offered The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter is offering regional professional training throughout Delaware. LifeCare at Lofland Park in Seaford will host two sessions, "ABC's of Dementia," in their education room on May 3. These sessions are certificate/non CEU programs and are open to any professional caregiver at a cost of $45 per person. The first will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon and includes a continental breakfast provided by Lifecare. The second is from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and includes an afternoon snack. For more information or to register, contact Jamie Magee at 854-9788 or email

EMT basic certification class Anyone wanting to enter the field of health care as an Emergency Medical Technician can start this spring with the Basic Certification course offered at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. The course consists of 120 classroom hours and 60 hours of practical sessions and hands-on learning. It will be held Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May 2 to Aug. 22. A certification of completion is awarded to those who successfully complete the program and they will be eligible to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. The course is being taught by William Matthews, owner of Pre-Hospital Interventions (PHI). PHI is recognized as an Emergency Medical Educational entity by the State of Delaware Office of EMS and the Delaware State Fire Commission. For more information, contact Delaware Tech's Corporate & Community Programs at 854-6966.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospice's "New Beginnings" bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program. The location rotates each week of the month according to this schedule:
  • 1st Thursday: Grottos Pizza, Rt. 26, Bethany Beach;
  • 2nd Thursday: Georgia House, 300 Delaware Ave., Laurel;
  • 3rd Thursday: Millsboro Pizza Palace, Rt. 113-southbound lane, Millsboro;
  • 4th Thursday: Blue Ocean Grill (formerly Milton House), 200 Broadkill Rd., Milton;
  • 5th Thursday (when applicable): Texas Grill (formerly Ocean Point Grill), 26089 Long Neck Rd., Millsboro. "New Beginnings" luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required. There is no fee except the cost of your lunch.
For more information, call Carol Dobson or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.