Health
Thursday, June 28, 2012
 
How do I know if I have 'OCD'? By Dr. Anthony Policastro

We frequently hear someone being told that they are "so OCD." Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a term that we use but not necessarily in the right context. There are three components. All three must be present for a person to truly have a diagnosis of OCD. The first component is what is known as an obsession. This refers to a thought that someone cannot get rid of. The person becomes overly involved in thinking about a particular issue. It might be something that is important like money. It might be something unimportant like whether the door is locked. It really does not matter what the thought is. What is more important is the amount of time that the person spends thinking about it. One basic rule is that no one should spend more than an hour a day on a particular issue. If someone is spending more than an hour every day worrying about something, they probably have an obsession. Another way of looking at it is deciding whether the person is spending time worrying about the topic instead of getting their daily activities done. If the worrying takes precedence over another important activity, then it is more likely to be an obsession. The second component is what is called a compulsion. A compulsion is not a thought. It is an action. It is something that a person feels that they must do to prevent something bad from happening. We all tend to have minor compulsions. We call them superstitions. They might involve walking under a ladder. They might involve throwing spilled salt over your shoulder. Some people are more compelled to perform these superstitions than others. However, most of these superstitions are fairly common. We all tend to say "God bless you" when someone sneezes. We know that their heart will not stop if we fail to do so. However, we do it out of habit anyway. A compulsion becomes a problem when the individual recognizes it as illogical and unsuccessfully tries to stop it. The individual knows that nothing bad will happen. The individual realizes that the behavior is illogical. However, the individual cannot stop the behavior. Not doing the action causes stress. The stress level keeps rising. It gets to the point where the action must take place just to relieve the stress. The third component is that the severity of the issues must be such that the person fails to function normally. Someone can obsess about things but go on about their daily business the other 23 hours of the day. Someone can have a minor motor action that just looks like an annoying habit to outsiders. However, for some people the obsession continues for most of the day. There are then compulsive actions that must be taken to relieve the stress caused by the obsession. The result is that individual cannot carry on normal daily activities. The recurring obsessions and compulsions rule their lives. When things get to this point, we have an individual with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. All three components are present. The disorder takes over their normal routines. These individuals need formal treatment to allow them to have a normal life. This is far different than the individual that we tease about being so OCD.

Blood donations rise in area schools From September 2011 to May 2012, 73 high schools and 13 colleges throughout Delmarva hosted a record 139 blood drives resulting in 8,704 blood donors drawn. That is up 11.9% from the previous record of 7,774 blood donations collected during the 2010-2011 school year. Each unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. Blood Bank of Delmarva will hold four awards luncheons throughout Delmarva in the fall to recognize the local high schools that contributed to the success of the 2011-2012 School Blood Drive Program. The luncheons, which also serve as the official kick-off to next year's school program, are attended by students and school advisors who will play a major role in organizing high school blood drives during the school year. For more detailed information about the School Blood Drive Program or the contributions from individual schools, contact Michael Waite at 302-737-8405, ext. 732.

Fox tests positive for rabies A small red fox in Laurel tested positive for rabies on June 19. A Laurel resident was bitten by the fox on June 17, and has started post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. The bite occurred on Dogwood Lane in Laurel. Any resident who came in contact or was bitten by a fox in the area before June 19, is urged to call the Delaware Division of Public Health's Bureau of Epidemiology/Rabies at 1-866-972-9705 or 302-744-1070. The Division of Public Health reminds people that as weather warms and we start spending more time outdoors, we increase our risk of exposure to rabid animals. All wild mammals, including strays, should be regarded as if they may have rabies, no matter their location.

Bayhealth offers new scholarship Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, Bayhealth will offer a $3,000 annual scholarship to Bayhealth employees in addition to the $5,000 tuition reimbursement that is already available to employees. To be eligible for the new scholarship, Bayhealth employees must show documented acceptance into a bachelor's or higher degree program for healthcare majors, and meet other criteria. Scholarship recipients must agree to a three year full-time commitment to Bayhealth upon graduation. The scholarship is also available to non-Bayhealth employees who are a junior or senior enrolled in a healthcare major with a grade point average of 3.0 to 4.0. External candidates receiving the Bayhealth scholarship must also agree to a three year full-time work commitment at Bayhealth upon graduation. Applications must be received by Aug. 1, with scholarship awards announced by September. For details and to download an application, visit www.bayhealth.org/scholarships. For questions, call 744-7143.

New minimally invasive surgery It's another step in the evolution of minimally invasive surgeries: For the first time in Delaware, a surgeon has performed a complex stomach surgery without making incisions.

Bayhealth Surgeon Rahul Singh, MD, recently successfully completed a fundoplication to treat two patients suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). In a fundoplication, the gastric fundus (upper part) of the stomach is wrapped, or plicated, around the lower end of the esophagus and stitched in place, reinforcing the closing function of the lower esophageal sphincter. The procedure effectively creates a valve at the LES to prevent reflux from the stomach back up to the esophagus. Fundoplications typically require abdominal incisions for the surgeon to access the stomach, and patients usually need a two to three day hospitalization and at least a week for full recovery. However, Dr. Singh performed an incisionless fundoplication and both patients were released without complications after just an overnight hospitalization.

PHC announces changes Peninsula Home Care (PHC), a leading, award winning home care company founded in 1985, announces the promotion and repositioning of two employees. Sandy Russ, formerly a field nurse for Peninsula Home Care, was promoted to branch director of the Seaford branch office. Russ joined Peninsula Home Care in 2007 after working for Peninsula Regional Medical Center in the Intensive Care Unit and medical/surgical department for 16 years. She received her associate's degree from Wor-Wic Community College and her bachelor's degree from South University. Therese Ganster, formerly the Seaford branch director, has made a parallel move to the Ocean Pines office in Maryland. Ganster joined Peninsula Home Care in 2007 and has served in health care industries throughout her career. She has been a certified social worker since 1980 following her master's degree in social work from West Virginia University and a master's in public health management from Carnegie Mellon in 1996.

Bayhealth welcomes Dr. Andronic To help meet a growing need for obstetrical and gynecological providers in Sussex County, Bayhealth has recruited a new OB/GYN for the medical staff of Bayhealth Milford Memorial. Cristian Andronic, MD, joins Bayhealth Women's Care Associates, serving patients of the greater Milford area. Dr. Cristian Andronic is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with more than 12 years of private practice and academic experience. He earned his medical degree from the University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania and completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Dr. Andronic has extensive experience in all areas of obstetrics (low and high risk pregnancy care) and gynecology. His areas of special interest and expertise are advanced robotic surgery as well as the treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic relaxation. Dr. Andronic serves at Bayhealth Women's Care Associates at 517 N. DuPont Hwy., Milford. To make an appointment, call 302-424-6511.

Weight loss education seminar Join Dr. James Hummel at Nanticoke Chiropractic and Weight Loss Center for a free seminar on a new breakthrough technology that will help you learn how to lose weight and keep it off. Seminars are being held July 12 and 24 at 7 p.m. Register for one today at www.getthindelaware.com or by calling 628-8706. This is your chance to transform your body, overcome food cravings and finally lose that stubborn belly fat.

Parent Coffee Hour Autism Delaware will hold a free parent coffee hour at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 28, at the Holiday Inn Express in Seaford. For details, visit www.delautism.org or call Autism Delaware at 302-644-3410.

Space available at Camp New Hope Delaware Hospice has spaces available at Camp New Hope, which will be held from July 10-13, at Trap Pond for Sussex County, for children and teens ages 6 to 17, who have suffered the recent loss of a loved one. The New Hope program, including Camp New Hope, is a free community outreach program. This inspirational day camp takes place over four days, connecting children in similar age groups in order to help them process their feelings of loss and grief. Learn more about Camp New Hope by contacting New Hope Coordinator for Sussex County, Angela Turley, at 856-7717, ext. 3104, or aturley@delawarehospice.org.

Parkinson's Support Group A Parkinson's Support Group is being held in Seaford on the third Monday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Nanticoke Senior Center. The group focuses on educating members about Parkinson's through guest speakers and small group discussions. Persons with other movement disorders are welcome to join the group as much of what is discussed is not limited to Parkinson's. New members are encouraged to attend. Reservations or advance notification is not required. For more information, call Dennis Leebel at 302-644-3465.

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.

HIV/AIDS Support Group A new support group for HIV/AIDS will meet every other Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the Branford Lounge at Epworth United Methodist Church at 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach. The group is sponsored by Epworth UMC, CAMP Rehoboth, the AIDs Delaware and Delaware HIV Consortium. For more information, contact David at kingdm3@gmail.com.