Thursday, January 26, 2012
What we see on the Internet is what we want to believe By Dr. Anthony Policastro

People have different psychological traits that are part of what makes us unique. Sometimes we forget that our interactions with others are based upon these traits. For example, someone who has a prejudice against a certain type of individual will not interact well with that individual. He/she might not believe what is said and look for ulterior motives in what the other individual is doing. There are many ways that the interaction can be a negative one. These same traits affect our interactions over the Internet. We do not always realize that. Thus, when we see things on the Internet, we might react incorrectly to what we are seeing. The most important thing to remember is that what we believe about what we see on the Internet is what we want to believe. We might read a movie review. If we really want to see the movie, then we are only interested in the good reviews. If we are not particularly interested in a movie, then we might focus on the bad reviews. There are two real issues here. The first issue is the selective reading that we do. We try to find things to support our position. There is so much information on the Internet that we can usually find something that will agree with our position. That leads to the second issue. Not everything we see on the Internet is true. Just because we find something that supports our position, it does not mean that what we find is accurate. For example, there are people that like to read reviews on the Internet. It might be for a restaurant, movie or hotel. There are many things to be wary of in reading such reviews. Suppose I were to open a new restaurant. I might not be a completely ethical person. I know that people are going to read reviews on the Internet so I go on online review sites and put good reviews about my restaurant there which will improve my business. As another example, maybe someone else opened a restaurant in competition with me. I might decide that I need to post bad reviews of the competition on the Internet. If I were a customer of a new restaurant and I liked it, I might put a good review on the Internet. If I did not like it, I might put a bad review. There is nothing to stop me from publishing multiple bad reviews so that it looks like many people do not like the restaurant. The important point in all of this is that there is no regulation of what goes on the Internet. When we read things online, our opinion is strongly influenced by our own psychological traits. As a result, we might very well make an incorrect decision. That decision will be based upon how we interpret false information. We need to understand that every interaction we have is affected by who we are. That is not only true in how we interact with other people. It is also true for how we interact with things that we get from the Internet. Diabetes education classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes education program on Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. Pre-registration is required prior to attending classes. To register and to obtain more information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Southern Delaware Heart Ball Come dance the night away for a good cause at the Southern Delaware Heart Ball. The ball will be held at the Dover Sheraton Hotel on Saturday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. A premier black-tie event, the Heart Ball raises funds for heart disease and stroke. Chairs are Steve and Rosie Rose of Nanticoke Health Services. For more information, visit or contact Karen Gritton at 302-286-5705 or

Autism Delaware holds walk Autism Delaware will host the statewide Walk for Autism on Saturday, April 21 at Bellevue State Park, Wilmington, and on Sunday, April 22 at Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes. This year's goal is to raise $200,000 to serve the growing number of people and families affected by autism throughout the state. Prizes will be awarded to anyone raising $100 or more. Formerly known as the Walk-Race for Autism, the event this year features only a walk to make the entire event as accessible as possible to all families and community members. Because there is no race, those who are interested in supporting the cause through running or other athletic pursuits should send an email of interest to As with any event of this size, volunteers are needed to make it a success. "The Walk for Autism attracts more than 2,000 participants, which requires a lot of help to coordinate," noted Melanie Matusheski, Autism Delaware's volunteer coordinator and a volunteer herself. "Volunteers are needed for pre-event planning and promotion, event setup and breakdown, and day-of event activities." To help, send an email of interest to Corporate sponsors are welcomed to help support the event. Autism Delaware offers a range of sponsorship levels that can include statewide recognition as well as day-of exhibition space at one or both event sites. In-kind donations of food and beverages may also qualify for sponsorships. For details, call Kim Siegel at 302-224-6020, ext. 204. For more information about the 2012 Walk for Autism, visit

Hospice Lunch Bunch Lecture Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a Lunch Bunch Lecture on Friday, Feb. 3, where Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, will discuss "Holding On & Letting Go: Sorting through Memories after Loss," at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Following a loss, some people clean out the closet as quickly as possible because the memories are just too painful. Others leave entire rooms just the way they were before their loss. How do you decide what to keep and what to let go of when someone you love dies? This workshop will focus on dealing with the emotional challenges of letting go which include renewed feelings of grief and even guilt. Lunch Bunch Lectures are organized by Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center and are open to the public. Registration is required as seating capacity is limited, and the cost of lunch is $5 per person. Register by Wednesday, Feb. 1, by contacting Vicki Costa at 856-7717, ext. 1129 or

Hospice holds grief support group Delaware Hospice will hold a six-week Grief Education Group for widows, widowers and life partners beginning Feb. 7, at the Delaware Hospice office, 315 Old Landing Rd., Millsboro. Specific dates are: Feb. 7, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 6, March 13 and March 20. This group will address the struggle that men and women face after the loss of their spouse or life partner. Participants will have the opportunity to examine the challenges they have faced with others who have experienced a similar loss. The group will be led by Midge DiNatale, GC-C, bereavement counselor, who will offer thoughtful and practical ideas to help rebuild your life in the absence of your loved one. Resources and reading materials will be provided at each session. There is no fee for this community outreach program; however, space is limited so registration is required by Friday, Feb. 3. Register or learn more by contacting Midge DiNatale at 302-416-0581 or

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings Residents living in and around Seaford can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. Woodland United Methodist Church will host Life Line Screening on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The site is located at 5123 Woodland Church Rd., Seaford. Four key points every person needs to know:
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability

  • 80% of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke
  • Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke
  • Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient
Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. Packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit Pre-registration is required.

'Soul Collage' workshop The Family Support Center will hold a special workshop, "Soul Collage: A Creative Tool for Self-Discovery," presented by Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, on Friday, Feb. 3, from 2 to 5 p.m., Delaware Hospice Center, Milford. Lowered self-esteem and loss of identity are common symptoms of grief, often experienced but not always recognized. Through creating your own Soul Collage, you will discover or re-discover the "real" you. In doing so, self-esteem can be improved just as you begin to recognize your own, unique identity. This workshop is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Register or learn more by contacting Vicki Costa at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

Alzheimer's Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Alzheimer's Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at LifeCare at Lofland Park's first floor Resident Lounge, 715 E. King St., Seaford. This group provides support and information about Alzheimer's and dementia to families, caregivers and anyone who is affected by this disease. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact LifeCare at Lofland Park at 628-3000, ext. 8302.

CPR classes offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants 12-years-old and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency because of job responsibilities or regulatory requirements. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Run to the Plunge 5k The Run to the Plunge 5K to benefit Special Olympics Delaware is Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m., at Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach. Entry is $20 ($25 day of). Amenities include long-sleeve t-shirts and refreshments. Awards to the top three overall male and female champions, top male and female masters, and top three in 5-year age classes. For more information, call 302-831-4653 or email Register online at

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. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Tobacco relapse support group Bayhealth Medical Center is pleased to offer a new support group for individuals who recently quit using tobacco products. The "Tobacco Relapse Prevention Support Group" will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m., on March 20, May 22, July 24, Sept. 11 and Nov. 8, 2012. The group will meet in Bayhealth's BETT Conference Room at 208 W. Water St. in Dover. This support group is designed to help individuals focus on relapse prevention and provides networking opportunities for participants to share their unique experiences and success stories with others. There is no need to register in advance for this support group For more information, contact Bayhealth Educator Terry Towne, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, at 302-744-6724.

NAR-ANON support group "Take Heart, Be Strong" is a support group available to those family members and friends who are concerned about the drug/alcohol addiction of a loved one. We find people in NAR-ANON who understand what we are going through and are ready to share their experience, strength and hope to help us. This group meets at 7 p.m. every Thursday in the Youth Room at Crossroad Community Church, 20684 State Forest Rd., Georgetown. If you are interested or know someone who might be, call Beth at 302-745-0466. This is an anonymous program and there are no obligations. Attendance is welcome with no prior arrangements. For more information and other meeting locations, visit

Relay for Life fundraiser Dr. Marie Wolfgang is again sponsoring a 12 night Winter Getaway Cruise to the Southern Caribbean as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. on Feb. 10. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Lucia and St. Maarten (Philipsburg). Transportation to and from the dock is available. For a brochure, call or visit Dr. Wolfgang's office at One Cedar Ave. in Seaford, 629-4471. Space is limited.

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 throughout Sussex County. "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 Midge Dinatale or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

New depression support groups If you have been diagnosed with depression, are currently receiving treatment and need extra support, join the Mental Health Association in Delaware's newest depression support groups. The support groups provide a safe and comfortable environment for adults who may be struggling with depression to find others who may be going through similar experiences, learn coping skills and take back control of their life by being proactive. A support group meets in Seaford every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The location of the meeting is provided only to registered members. To register, contact the Mental Health Association in Delaware at 302-654-6833 or 800-287-6423. These new groups are made possible due to a grant received from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware's BluePrints for the Community program.