Thursday, March 22, 2012
It's important to just be yourself

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Recently I had a patient in my office playing a video game. When I asked what the game was, the patient told me. From the name of the game it was clearly one that had violence as the core theme. I also knew that the game had a rating. The child was too young to be playing the game given the rating. I told the parents that the game was not appropriate for their son. The response was that all of his friends were playing this game. If he did not play it too, then they would make fun of him. I have heard that same kind of logic many times. It usually comes from an adolescent. All my friends smoke so I have to. All my friends drink so I have to. The list of things goes on and on. It includes things like cell phones and piercings. In most cases this behavior means the same thing. It screams out, "I have horrible self esteem. I need to hide it by being like everyone else." This often carries over into adulthood. However, it takes a different form. It moves beyond trying to be like everyone else to support self esteem. It becomes a goal of trying to prove that the individual is actually better than everyone else. It frequently takes the form of material possessions. For example, the kind of house an individual lives in can allow him/her to appear to be better than everyone else. This is one of the reasons we had the mortgage crisis. People bought more house than they could afford. It allowed them to show off as if they were better than others. However, when the crisis occurred, these individuals were often the first ones to face foreclosure. For other individuals, it takes the form of the kind of car that they drive. Some people can easily afford expensive cars. They drive them because they like them. Others cannot. They drive them to show off. The purpose of a car is to provide transportation. You really don't need to buy more car than your needs dictate. When you do so, it usually means your self-esteem needs are being met instead. Material possessions are also included in this category. There are some people who need to be the first ones so they can gloat. You only need to think of the insanity related to some of the popular toys over the years. People would wait for hours to buy them. They would fight over them. They would spend more money than they are worth. Most of the individuals who fall into this category will often brag about these possessions. They have them and no one else does. Other people with poor self esteem will want to get them because all their friends have them. When I see this kind of an individual, my usual response is to ask myself why they have such poor self esteem. Often it goes back to the first example that I used. Their parents were busy trying to make sure that they were like everyone else. What should have been happening is that their parents needed to make sure that they were happy with themselves first. That is more important than being happy because you are the same as everyone else. Each and every one of us has different talents. It is important for parents to recognize and foster those talents in their children. That will pay big dividends in how they fit into society as they mature.

DPH releases infection report Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health issued data for hospital central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) for Delaware for the fourth quarter of 2011. Collectively, Delaware's eight critical care hospitals reported four infections between October and December of 2011. A central line (also known as a central venous catheter) is a catheter (tube) that doctors often place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests. These lines can prompt bloodstream infections which are usually serious infections typically causing a prolonged hospital stay, increased cost and risk of death. Bloodstream infections in patients with central lines are largely preventable when healthcare providers use CDC-recommended infection control steps. In 2001, 43,000 bloodstream infections were reported nationally. Since then and with the utilization of infection control practices, the number of infections in 2009 has dropped to nearly 18,000, a reduction of 58 percent. This represents up to 6,000 lives saved and $414 million in potential excess health-care costs. For more information on CLABSI, visit:

'Understanding Hoarding' lecture Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a Lunch Bunch Lecture on "Understanding Hoarding," with Dr. Angela D'Antonio, on Friday, April 13, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Those who hoard have limited insight into the seriousness of their living situation, experience extreme anxiety when asked to part with their possessions, and are strongly resistant to getting help. Judging those with this crippling disease is never helpful. Understanding what drives this behavior is the first step in being able to address it. This workshop will explore the causes of this compulsive behavior, ways families can intervene, the resources available and therapeutic approaches generally used to treat hoarding. 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, April 11, by contacting Vicki Costa, associate director of the Family Support Center, at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

Kick Butts Day 2012 The Annual Kick Butts Day 2012 in Sussex County is Saturday, March 24, in Georgetown. Activities will begin at 8 a.m. with a cigarette butt cleanup at the Georgetown Circle, followed by fun and educational tobacco-prevention workshops at the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club. The event will close with a basketball tournament at the Amory. The event is free and all youth are welcome to take part. Lunch and t-shirts are provided. For more information, call 856-7761.

Training in nutrition Restaurants, hotel dining halls, and even hospitals will need more workers when an influx of visitors comes to the Eastern Shore this summer. Be ready with the training to make yourself stand out during an interview. Sussex Tech Adult Division is offering a 60-hour Nutrition course starting April 2 that teaches about human nutritional needs, food groups, and the nutritional benefits of various foods. It is designed for a variety of professions, not just hospitality, but nursing homes and hospitals. Students will learn about the USDA food pyramid guidelines and health problems associated with poor nutrition. Course includes field trips to a neighboring hospital to "shadow" employees delivering meals to patients in an institutional setting. Upon completion of the course, students are prepared to take the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe Certification Exam. Cost of the exam is included in the course fee. Cost of the course is $649. It meets Monday and Wednesday nights from April 2 until June 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information or to register, call the Sussex Tech Adult Division at 856-9035.

Pharmacology training offered Training programs in the health professions continue to provide students with the skills to start a career in this high demand area. The Sussex Tech Adult Division is offering a variety of programs to prepare students for successful careers.

Space is available in the Pharmacology class that will begin on April 3. Students will learn basic pharmacology, including drug classifications, controlled substances, inventory management, prescription information, labeling, regulations, and much more. Work with pharmacy calculations is included. This course is ideal for someone currently working in a pharmacy who wants to learn more and take a national certification examination. Classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening for three hours from April 3 until June 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost of the course is $649. Students interested in training in the Pharmacology class should contact the Sussex Tech Adult Division at 856-9035, or visit Tuition assistance for some programs may be available.

Nanticoke offers cholesterol class Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next cholesterol class is 5 p.m. on Monday, March 26 at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. The class will focus on foods and eating habits that may help to manage your cholesterol levels and will incorporate practical suggestions for overcoming the barriers to eating in a heart healthy way. Topics will include risk factors, saturated, unsaturated fats, trans fats, portion sizes, and other American Heart Association guidelines. There is a class fee of $20, and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 2455.

Family Wellness Expo & Baby Fair More than 50 Bayhealth departments and not-for-profit groups will share insight on "Cultivating Healthy Habits" during the Bayhealth Family Wellness Expo & 16th Annual Baby Fair on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. The Wellness Expo will be in the Dover Building and the Baby Fair will be located in the Exhibit Hall on the Fairgrounds. The Expo is free and open to the public and will have fun, educational and interactive events for people of any age. For a complete list of exhibits at the Bayhealth Family Wellness Expo and 16th Annual Baby Fair, visit

HealthFest on March 31 PRMC and the Wicomico County Board of Education invite everyone on the Peninsula to join them for HealthFest: An event for all ages, on Saturday, March 31 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at James M. Bennett High School on College Avenue in Salisbury. Joining HealthFest as the event's guest speaker is three-time Olympic gymnast, gold medalist and health advocate Dominique Dawes who will speak at 11:30 a.m. on fitness, exercise and staying healthy. Over 30 different and free health screenings will be available. Some require advance registration or fasting. ABI-Lower Body Circulation Screening and Prostate Screening require advance registration. Registration will be open from 9 a.m. to noon each day until all available appointments have been filled by calling 410-543-7139. Also available will be Total Cholesterol and Blood Glucose (blood sugar) tests, which do not need advance registration but do require all participants to have nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before the screenings. For more information, visit or call 410-543-7137.

NMH offers CPR classes 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 ages 12 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.

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.

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.

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

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.