Thursday, June 07, 2018
Doctors Perspective
Loss aversion

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
There is an important psychological term called loss aversion which refers to a piece of human nature. We are more likely to be upset over losing something than we are to be excited over winning the same amount. For example, we would welcome a $100 windfall, however, we would be far more upset about losing $100. Many individuals do not budget for major expenses like a house repair, car repair or having to purchase a new appliance. These expenses happen to all of us so we should expect them and plan for them in advance. However, when these things happen, many individuals become very upset. It is like losing money. If they had budgeted in advance, it would be less of an issue. We do not recognize it but this attitude is a result of human evolution. In the early days of man, the loss of a days hunt could mean starvation for the family. The genes for this led to man being hard wired to avoid loss. What we do not often realize is that there are people who prey on us by using this. For example, my wife and I attended a time share presentation recently. We declined the offer. At the end of the presentation, the salesman told us that he was going to write declined on the paper and we would never again have the opportunity for the offer. He was appealing to our loss aversion. He tried to make it seem like we were going to lose an opportunity but it was nothing more than another sales pitch. However, if we were very loss averse, it might have hit a nerve. Politicians use this all the time. If you do not vote for me, you will lose what you currently have. I am the only one that can allow you to keep it. That is especially true for politicians with a narcissistic tendency. That is not because they say the same thing. It is because they actually believe it. In their mind, they are the only ones who can guarantee that your future will not be faced with loss. The most obvious example is in relation to taxes. It may be income tax raises or sales tax raises. It may be other forms of taxation. All are viewed as a loss of money that we currently have. It does not matter whether the money will buy something for us down the road. We would rather save the $100 now than get the same $100 later. We all have loss aversion to some degree. We just do not always recognize it.

Childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for five weeks four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 dates: June 7, 14; July 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2; Aug. 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1; *Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11 (*Tuesdays).

The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes.The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2540.

Diabetes support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts free diabetes support groups on Mondays four times a year from 5 to 6 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room. Pre-registration is required. 2018 schedule- June 18 The ABCDs of Diabetes with Medicare with Lakia Turner, community relations officer, State of Delaware September 17 Move with Jonathan with Jonathan Souder, MS, fitness director, Manor House December 3 The Dish on Diabetes - Learn food preparation skills for simple, savory diabetic dishes. For more information or to register, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2288.

Bariatric Support Groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center, located within the Miller building at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public. Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the fourth Monday from 6-7 p.m. (no meeting on the first Monday in July due to holiday). The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.