Recovery From Early Stage Dementia

by Doug Valentine, Peebles, Scotland

In my 30s and 40s I was highly focussed on building from start-ups a few interconnected businesses, and I put work before family most of the time. I had this belief that I should set an example by being among the first to arrive and one of the last to leave every day, and I put this belief higher than getting home to spend time with the family. I fuelled myself to do this with eight cups of tea or coffee a day, and then a bottle of wine every night to help me unwind. Without realising it, I had bit by bit over many years, given up on myself and developed patterns of numbing myself so I did not have to be aware of this fact. To the exclusion of everything else, I dedicated myself to providing enough material wealth that my family would never be poor. Reflecting back on this period now, I can see that there was an unremitting joylessness in every part of my life. 

In my 40s I was becoming more and more burnt out and I was struggling in many ways to cope; particularly my memory had slowly but surely degraded to the point that I found I needed to write everything down on bits of paper and carry them around everywhere with me. Our customers comprised of multi-nationals and government, so I lived in a mild state of terror that I would forget something really vital and cause the loss a major customer. When I was 50, we sold the business to an American organisation that on the one hand stated they wanted me to stay on forever, and then asked me to sack a staff member who had been loyal for 10 years and had never put a foot wrong, because their face didn’t fit. In my heart I knew I couldn’t follow these instructions, so I chose to resign and leave the business I had started eighteen years earlier.

I felt completely burnt-out from 20 plus years of constant stress. In addition to the memory problems, I had high blood pressure and had also undergone, around a year earlier, a period of depression. Because I had a pension that enabled me to start drawing down from age 50, I decided to take a year out and rebuild my health. I thought taking time out would dissolve the stress that I felt under, but it made no difference. I carried on over-riding the messages my body was giving me, and for several years continued to pump caffeine and alcohol into my system every day… and life became more and more of a fog. Conversations kept revealing to me that I had no clarity regarding what was discussed even the day prior. I was well down the road of early stage dementia.

One day, after listening to a Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine presentation, I felt the truth of the harm I was doing to myself with the alcohol and caffeine I was putting in my body. By this time my blood pressure was sky-high and my memory had deteriorated further, e.g. I frequently struggled to recall what I had done the day before; it would sometimes take quite a bit of memory-mining to dig up what I had been doing in the 24 hours before. That day I said to myself “Never again” to both caffeine and alcohol, and I also slowly started to develop a true caring for myself in lots of other ways. This was very hard at first, as my momentum of not taking care of myself had been going on a very long time.

Six months after giving up alcohol and caffeine I suddenly realised that the fog that had taken over my head had cleared. I also realised I had stopped writing notes for myself, and in my head was a clarity I couldn’t remember feeling since I was a teenager. For the first time for a long time, I could now spot other people’s memory problems.

I have continued with developing and expanding the ways in which I care for myself. Five years later my blood pressure is lower than it has ever been, and the irritable bowel syndrome I lived with for 30 plus years disappeared when I discarded gluten from my diet. So for me, there is no doubt in my mind that dementia – and for that matter every other illness I experience– is a direct result of the choices I make, and how I choose to live my life. I am also sure that if I had not changed the way I was living, I would now be a full-blown dementia patient. Whereas on the other hand, there is now more joy in my life than ever before, and I have not felt healthier than I do now during my 62 years on this planet.

I cannot start to express my gratitude for Universal Medicine, whose teachings have led me to realise that I am the only one who is responsible for my health – and without which I would be in a very different state of health.

139 thoughts on “Recovery From Early Stage Dementia

  1. I am repeatedly blown away by the conditions that people have lived with for decades that dissipate through committing to living the loving principles presented by Universal Medicine and taking responsibility for the choices they make every day. So many people are defying both science and medicine and transforming their health in a world where the opposite seems to be the norm.

    1. This is pretty incredible, how the people I have met at Universal Medicine have been able to make the impossible, possible by taking responsibility for their choices and choosing to embrace self-care and self-love. Like you’ve shared Samantha, people are ‘defying both science and medicine and transforming their health’ this needs to be shared so people know what is indeed possible.

  2. The lifestyle choices that we make every day can easily be taken for granted but nonetheless all accumulate and definitely affect the clarity of our thoughts.

  3. All young people should read this – its such a common approach to life to go out and do everything we think we have to to get ahead, but feel totally burnt out and gradually reduce ourselves so that when it comes time to enjoy ourselves, the family have grown up, our bodies are wrecked and we’ve lost our marbles. Better to enjoy moment by moment and let the rest take care of itself (mirrored by the way we take care of ourselves).

    1. I agree Simon, and furthermore as adults there is often encouragement for younger people to “enjoy” their teens and twenties, but I guess that depends on our own personal definition of enjoy, and whether it is a lifestyle that makes us more predisposed to becoming sick later down the line. Crazy that we live this way when there is actually more enjoyment available to us when we have choices available that leave us feeling abundantly well in every moment.

  4. Doug, your blog supports us to understand that our lifestyle choices do affect our health and how we feel in more ways than we would like to consider. It is pretty much unheard of to recover from early dementia and you have clearly proven that it is indeed possible. By taking responsibility for our lifestyle choices, and choosing more loving ones, they can truly support us in our health, our work and our relationships to improve.

  5. I found it interesting to read Doug that not having a job didn’t relieve the stress, and that you continued to feel burnt out. It shows that there is much more to the energy we have than just work itself, but far more how we are living, the choices we make have an impact. How we treat work is so often as a chore but running our lives with this choice of feeling towards work creates huge dissatisfaction.

  6. To recognise our own doing in our state of health and to then take matters in our own hands by bringing absolute care to our life is enormous. You bring us a very powerful example of how this is possible. We hold the power over our own well-being and health in our own hands.

  7. What’s also important to acknowledge is that once a pattern has been exposed and we make steps to get over it, going backwards one step is even more harmful than it was previously.

  8. Hi Doug – this is awesome to read how you turned your life and your health around. Interesting that giving up work didn’t make the slightest bit of difference to your stress levels and that you just found other ways to stress yourself out and continue the same momentum. It goes to show that it’s not what’s going on around us necessarily, but how we respond or react to it – and that we don’t let go of or change a momentum without having absolutely decided that enough is enough and making a firm commitment to changing our ways.

  9. Its remarkable how upon hearing Serge Benhayon present you had such a strong awakening as to what you were doing to yourself Doug, I guess that is a testament to someone presenting who lives with complete care for their own health. When this is the case it makes it much easier for others to be inspired and hear the message being shared. It is a bit like when an adult tells a child to do something but doesn’t want to do it as it feels the hypocrisy. Rather than this better to present the truth by living it deeply first.

  10. Doug this is an extraordinary sharing of how you turned your health around with the support and teachings from Universal Medicine. We often feel we are powerless to change any health conditions or improve our energy levels but as you and hundreds of other students have experienced when we begin to self-care the state of our health and well-being can improve considerably and many health conditions can often being to truly heal.

  11. So many wows here .. wow to having a bottle of wine every day to ‘wind down’, which probably many people do and wow to being slowly (or quickly!) on the road to dementia to then this ‘and in my head was a clarity I couldn’t remember feeling since I was a teenager. For the first time for a long time, I could now spot other people’s memory problems.’ That is truly amazing and certainly something to write about. Also what I got from reading this is how many parents work so hard thinking that money will give them everything their family will need and so are never home and always busy ‘I dedicated myself to providing enough material wealth that my family would never be poor.’ when in fact this alone makes the family poor as it is not rich with love, connection and joy. For our relationships and how we are with each other is the true wealth in life.

  12. Every choice we make our body is letting us know the consequences – either by feeling awesome or not so much. Many if not most of us choose not to listen unless it’s something big the body is saying. But what if we start to listen to all the subtle, gentle, tender nudges it is constantly giving us, or the loving and confirming feedback when we choose something supportive. Wouldn’t that just change our health and wellbeing in an instant?

  13. Incredible Doug. What a change of life and how much of it you felt change through your healing – remarkable. I have a similar story in regards to how much and how gone I was in a strong momentum that took much responsibility to shift. Even to come back to the point of 0 because I was – 10. Now I have a life I can choose to fast track if I remain consistent with my evolution. A joyful time ahead!

  14. This is the story of the majority of humanity, work hard to provide for the family but then feel burdened by the lack of joy this brings and the disharmonious relationships we cultivate within that family. But what this shows is that things do not have to be that way, and that with some very simple choices life can be joy-full.

  15. This is a great testament to your willingness to heal Doug, and love the honesty about the ways we have learnt to manage life with harmful repercussions for our bodies, for it is only through building a foundation of self-care and love that once again we get to enjoy true health and vitality in our lives.

  16. Wow Doug, what a turn around of your lifestyle and health with the support of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. How we live, the choices we make, taking care of ourselves, being present have such a huge impact on our health and lives.

  17. This is a very powerful article. Clearly exposing, how through lived choices we influence our own lack of health. And equally exposing that another choice of living returns our body to a state of health and vitality.

  18. Thank you Doug, your story is inspiring. You have taken responsibility for things you can do something about and given your body space to do the rest. Whatever the outcome you feel more vital and engaged in life and that is something to be celebrated.

  19. Wow what a turnaround Doug! This is world class front page news as dementia is presenting more and more in larger proportions of the population and is a serious problem and yet people keep drinking substances like alcohol and coffee as a ritual, daily normal behaviour without ever considering the long term affects.

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