Thursday, September 05, 2013
Personality disorders are reclassified

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Many things in medicine change over time. One is the classification of medical issues. A recent change is in the category of illness known as personality disorders. In the past, this group of illnesses was separate from other forms of mental illness. A new classification of psychiatric disorders, published in May 2013, reclassified personality disorders which are now included with other forms of mental health disorders. A personality disorder is a group of behavioral and mental traits. They refer to individuals who do not follow the normal societal behaviors and expectations. The severity of the departure from the usual expectations of society is what make these become an actual mental health disorder. There are three major categories of personality disorder. There are several types of disorder in those categories. The first category consists of what are called odd or eccentric disorders. They include social interaction problems. Paranoid personality disorder leads people to mistrust others. It results in misinterpreting the motives of those around them. These individuals are not really paranoid, they are just mistrustful of everyone. This category also includes schizoid personality disorder. These individuals do not form social relationships well. They are not really interested in doing so and they have poor emotional expression. The second major category relates to individuals with emotional disorders. This category includes antisocial personality disorder. These individuals have no respect for the rights of others and they have no empathy. They often become criminals because they do not see any wrong in what they do. This category also includes borderline personality disorder. This group of individuals seeks social relationships however, they are not any good at maintaining those relationships. As a result they have a poor self image which might lead to self harm. This category also includes histrionic personality disorder. These are the individuals that we sometimes refer to as "drama queens." Everything becomes a major issue. They are overemotional. This category includes narcissistic personality disorder. These individuals think that they are better than everyone else. They think that they are smarter than everyone else and they expect everyone else to admire them. They tend to not care about those around them. It is all about them and their needs. The last category consists of what are called anxious or fearful disorders. It includes avoidant personality disorders. These individuals are oversensitive to criticism and they feel socially inadequate. This category also includes dependent personality disorder. These individuals have an intense need to be cared for by other people. They really cannot function well without someone to take care of their needs. This category also includes obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. This is different than obsessive-compulsive disorder. These individuals need to follow rules. They cannot tolerate those individuals who do not do so. They also tend to be very controlling for that reason and they have a tendency to expect perfection from those around them. Anyone can have some of these symptoms as a personality trait. When it begins to interfere with their interaction with others in society, it moves from personality trait to personality disorder. It is estimated that about half of individuals with mental illness have personality disorders as their diagnosis. Under the new classification this year, they are now included directly with those other forms of mental illness. This makes this group of disorders the most common form of mental illness.

Prostate screenings offered September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Once again the Cancer Care staff at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will provide prostate screenings (D.R.E. & blood test) on Friday, Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year's screening will be held at the Mears Health Campus located at 200 Rawlins Dr., Seaford, across from the post office. There is a $10 screening fee and pre-registration and fasting are not required. Men over the age of 50 are encouraged to take advantage of this service. Men age 40 and at high risk of developing prostate cancer are also encouraged to participate. African-American men and men who have a family history of the disease have a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. For more information, call Melinda Huffman, nurse navigator, at 629-6611, ext. 3765.

Survivors of Murder group If you have lost a loved one to a violent crime and need help coping, join the Mental Health Association in Delaware's Survivors of Murder Group, or SOM group in Milford. The meetings, which are professionally run, meet the second Monday of each month. The location of the meeting is provided upon registration. To register, contact the Mental Health Association in Delaware at 302-654-6833 or 800-287-6423.

Behavioral Health Consultants sought A recruitment effort is underway to fill 30 positions for behavioral health consultants (BHCs) in middle schools statewide. The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF) through its Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (PBHS), has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to fill these positions in response to budget initiatives to expand access to mental health services for children. While many Delaware elementary schools have family crisis therapists and high schools have Wellness Centers where children can access help, middle schools have lacked similar supports. BHCs are highly trained and licensed mental health professionals. As part of the RFP, PBHS is also looking for a contract manager to oversee the program along with three county coordinators. Applications are due by Sept. 12. The RFP and application instructions can be found on the DSCYF website at, or the state bid website at under the title of Behavioral Health Services. Questions should be directed to H. Ryan Bolles, DSCYF procurement administrator, at or 302-633-2701.

Horse recovering from West Nile Virus A Kent County horse has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The horse, which is recovering well, is Delaware's first confirmed equine case of West Nile Virus since 2003, said Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst. "Prevention is key, and effective vaccines are available to help protect horses against these types of diseases," said Hirst, who heads the Delaware Department of Agriculture's Poultry and Animal Health Section. In addition to this case of West Nile Virus, another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, was recently detected in a sentinel chicken flock in Sussex County. Owners should consult with their veterinarians about best WNV and EEE vaccination programs, Hirst said. To reduce mosquito breeding, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control advises people to drain or remove items that collect water, such as discarded buckets or containers, uncovered trash cans, stagnant birdbaths, unprotected rain barrels or cisterns, old tires, upright wheelbarrows, flowerpot liners, depressions in tarps covering boats, clogged rain gutters, downspout extenders, and unused swimming pools.

Walgreens supports Aids Walk Through the month of August, Walgreens stores in Delaware will be selling Red Ribbons in support of the Delaware AIDS Walk, scheduled to take place on Sept. 28, at the Wilmington Riverfront and Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach. The Red Ribbons will be available at Walgreens store cash registers to customers for a $1 donation as they checkout. For more information about the Sept. 28 AIDS Walk or to register to walk, call 302-652-6776 or visit

Stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 17 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 group will also be discussing atrial fibrillation and stroke. 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.

Parkinson support group The Nanticoke Parkinson Education and Support Group will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Sept. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Nanticoke Senior Center, 1001 W. Locust St., Seaford. There will be a presentation by an elder care lawyer. Contact Dennis Leebel at 644-3465 for more information.

Annual Treat the Beat 5K Walk On Sept. 8, Beebe Medical Foundation will highlight its focus on heart and vascular health by hosting the 4th Annual Treat the Beat 5K walk to support Cardiac and Vascular Services at Beebe Medical Center. The free event will take place at George H. P. Smith Park at Blockhouse Pond, located adjacent to Beebe Medical Center's main campus in Lewes. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the walk starting at 9 a.m. Jeffrey Heckert, MD, FAAFP, CEO of Mid-Atlantic Family Practice, is this year's honorary chair. In the fall of 2012, Dr. Heckert underwent life-saving heart surgery at Beebe Medical Center and credits the staff and surgeons for his recovery. The walk is free but all participants must register and are encouraged to raise money. To register, visit or call 302-644-2900.

HIV Consortium plans meetings The Delaware HIV Consortium and the Delaware Department of Public Health are holding a series of town hall meetings to get community feedback on HIV/AIDS programs and services. Experts in the field of HIV treatment and prevention will be there to answer questions from the public. A meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Camp Rehoboth, 37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth. For more information, visit

Depression Screening Day Do you know the symptoms of depression and anxiety? On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Mental Health Association in Delaware will be collaborating statewide to bring National Depression Screening Day to sites throughout the state. National Depression Screening Day is designed to increase mental health literacy by calling to attention the illness of depression on a national level. It is also designed to educate the public about symptoms and effective treatment, to offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for depression; and to connect those in need to the mental health care system in Delaware. More than 80% of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated. For more information about National Depression Screening Day, including times and locations, or MHA in Delaware visit or call 800-287-6423 in Sussex County.

Bayhealth CEO discusses reform Terry Murphy, Bayhealth president and CEO, joined the annual STEPS to Healthy Aging Breakfast to share his insights on Bayhealth and healthcare reform. Murphy provided an overview of Bayhealth's economic impact on local communities and then segued into an explanation of several complex factors that will play a role in the demand for and cost of healthcare services: a larger number of older, sicker patients; more patients with several complicated conditions; an increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Murphy offered suggestions for ways to manage rising healthcare costs. A large-scale focus on preventive care and collaboration between healthcare providers and community organizations will comprise a new model of healthcare delivery. For individuals, Murphy emphasized that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and visits to a primary care provider can go a long way in preventing more serious complications. To learn about the next STEPS to Healthy Aging event, contact Bayhealth's Education Department at 302-744-7135 or 1-877-453-7107, or visit

Bike to the Bay for MS Bike to the Bay presented by NRG Indian River Generating Station is Sept. 21-22. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Bike to the Bay is the largest and longest running bike ride in Delaware. The goal is to raise MS awareness and $1 million to support national multiple sclerosis research as well as programs and services needed by more than 1,550 Delawareans with MS. Bike to the Bay attracts more than 1,800 bicyclists. The ride covers much of Kent and Sussex counties, with a choice of six route options, and finishes at the Towers at Delaware Seashore State Park, just south of Dewey Beach. For more details and to register, visit or call 302-655-5610.

2013 Aids Walk Delaware Registration is open for the 2013 AIDS Walk Delaware which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Rehoboth and Wilmington. To register a group or an individual, visit Sign up today and begin collecting pledges for people infected and affected by HIV disease throughout the state. For detail, contact the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471 or

Hospice offers grief support group A six-week support group for adults on "Healing after the Loss of a Loved One" will be offered by Delaware Hospice on Tuesday evenings, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at the Cancer Support Community (Tunnel Cancer Center), Rehoboth Beach. The group begins meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The group will provide grief education, support, and address individual needs including dealing with a multitude of diverse emotions, normalizing your grief, and coping with the impact of the loss on you, your family and friends. There is no fee for this service, however registration is requested. Register by Friday, Sept. 6, by contacting Midge DiNatale, GC-C, at 302-416-0581 or

Dr. Barton to speak at program Bayhealth's STEPS to Healthy Aging Program will welcome podiatrist Jeffery Barton, DPM, as the guest speaker at its monthly lecture series on Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 5 to 6 p.m., in Kent General's General Foods Conference Rooms 3 and 4. Dr. Barton's presentation, "Foot Health for the Adult," will focus on arthritis, heel pain, bunions and hammertoes, tendon dysfunction, peripheral artery disease, and the selection of proper running/walking shoes. Bayhealth's STEPS to Healthy Aging Program is a free program for anyone over age 50 living in Bayhealth's service area. For more information about the program, call Bayhealth's Education Department at 302-744-7135 or (toll-free) 1-877-453-7107, or visit

Hospice bereavement program The Cancer Support Community is collaborating with Delaware Hospice to host a 6-week Bereavement program, Healing After the Loss of a Loved One," facilitated by Midge Dinatale, GC-C, bereavement counselor. The program begins Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. This series is free of charge and open to anyone that has lost a loved one in the past year. The Cancer Support Community is located in the Medical Arts Building, 18947 John J. Williams Hwy., Ste. 312, Rehoboth. Space is limited. Call 645-9150 for information and to register. Registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 6. For more information about the Cancer Support Community, visit

Go Red for Women Luncheon Beebe Medical Center will sponsor the 7th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon and Fashion Show on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Clubhouse at Baywood Greens in Long Neck. Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Cost is $30 a person. Keynote speaker will be electrophysiologist Firas El-Sabbagh, MD., a cardiologist specialized in treating patients for arrhythmias and other electrical disorders of the heart. For tickets, contact Pat Sandy at 226-7732 or Muriel Pfeiffer at 947-2640.

Hospice Lunch Bunch Lecture Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a Lunch Bunch Lecture on Friday, Sept. 6, where Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, will discuss "The Hero/Heroine's Journey: A Metaphor for Facing Life's Challenges," at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Registration is required as seating capacity is limited, and the cost of lunch is $5 per person. Register by contacting Michele August at 302-478-5707 or