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Health and Hoarding

Posted: 24 June 2015 - 05:57 PM
Thanks for your reply, Aubrey. In my experience, alternative treatments have never involved extra suffering, unlike standard treatments for medical issues. The biggest hurdle is finding good quality alternative treatment that addresses your personal needs. I think of it as "taking the problem to the right court". As you develop insight into your own obstacles to health, you are better able to pinpoint what modality is most likely to help. For example, a chiropractor would be a good starting point for chronic back pain. Also, the care has to be both geographically accessible and affordable.

Unfortunately most of what is offered in health care today is focused on managing illnesses, not on creating health. This approach is entrenched in the modern medical system. It is symptom-driven, not patient-driven. Thus "hoarding" is addressed as a diagnosis, with the goal being to "clean up" the hoarder's stuff. I can attest to how useless (and damaging) this approach has been in my case. The real issue is how my brain works, or fails to work. Because this is a daunting problem with no quick solution does not mean that I shouldn't tackle it. In fact, relapse is inevitable if I don't take on this challenge. It is interesting that in ancient China, doctors were only paid when their patients were well. If the patients became ill, then clearly the doctor was falling down on the job, and so payments ceased.

So especially given the current state of affairs, it is important that each person be proactive in his/her own behalf whenever health care issues are involved. Things are changing in medicine, but the more of us who demand appropriate alternatives to the present system, the faster this change will take place. Nutrition is something that affects us all, and has a profound effect on health. Simply learning about different diets and experimenting with them can really improve one's health and outlook. Eventually a healthy person will create a healthy environment. To quote William Blake, "He whose face gives forth no light shall never become a star."

I wish everyone the best. This is not an easy affliction to live with.
Posted: 23 June 2015 - 11:27 AM
I agree on the meds. I have fibromyalgia and part of my hoarding is the pain I feel bending and lifting. I could take meds, but they cause liver damage which is worse. Fibromyalgia won't kill me, but liver damage could. I have gained a lot of weight. I think there could be a link between obesity, hoarding, and health conditions. Not sure which is the cause and which are the symptoms, but it's definitely a cycle. I am very interested in alternative treatment. I get the sinking suspicion that this is going to be something that will take suffering to overcome. But it's time!
Posted: 23 June 2015 - 06:03 AM
Since I see hoarding as an end result of poor health, I decided to start this chain to discuss health as it relates to hoarding. Many hoarders have got emotional and mental issues that contribute to the hoarding problem. I stand with those who believe that psych meds are NOT a good way to address these issues. There is evidence that these meds cause the very disturbances they purport to manage, and also shorten the life span. For now exhaustive presentation of this argument, refer to the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker.

As of now it is difficult to find qualified alternative medicine practitioners, such as homeopaths, chiropractors, etc. However, we can significantly impact our health by our food choices. My recovery began when I self-diagnosed a gluten intolerance.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. A gluten intolerance is actually an autoimmune disease (celiac), and NOT an allergy. The difference is that those who are gluten intolerant actually lack the ability to digest gluten. Therefore, consumption of gluten by those who are gluten intolerant adversely affects the immune system, and can cause or contribute to a host of health problems. Among these problems are a raft of "mental health" issues. The most well-known of these include depression and "brain fog". In December of 2012, Dr. Oz stated on his show that 50% of our population has "some degree of gluten intolerance". He considers it a contributing factor in a laundry list of serious diseases.

Celiac is almost never diagnosed by medical professionals, for many reasons (I consider them "excuses"). However, it is very easy to self-test for gluten. Since even a tiny amount of gluten can cause severe symptoms if one does have a "gluten intolerance", it is necessary to omit ALL gluten from the diet (wheat, barley, and rye) for two to three weeks. This includes condiments such as salad dressings made with gluten, soy sauce (usually made with wheat, substitute tamari), etc. I would suggest shopping mainly in the produce aisle. If you notice an improvement in the way you feel after conducting this experiment, just continue to omit gluten.

While I realize that this approach is not of interest to everyone, I do see from the posts on these boards that health concerns are often raised in connection to hoarding. I would be very interested to learn about other avenues people have investigated to improve their health. Of course, these strategies are not for emergency hoarding situations. One has to survive the difficulty before eradicating it - hah!
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