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!