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.

174 thoughts on “Recovery From Early Stage Dementia

  1. “I have continued with developing and expanding the way in which I care for myself”, shows that self-care is forever expanding. It is never stagnant and continually refined and in that process we become more aware of what our body loves or not.

    Self-care is small steps that begins somewhere, and to me that feels that the person is taking responsibility for their well-being and in that, their life.

    Doug anything is possible if only we make the decision that our past life is no longer it, the rest will follow. It is that simple, we just need to be willing to take the steps.

  2. Thank you Doug for your honesty about your life style before meeting Serge Benhayon which many of us can relate to and your life post Serge Benhayon and the turn around you chose to make of your own free will.

    1. Mary agree, many of us have been impacted since meeting Serge Benhayon. Our lives have changed for the better and it has taught us to take responsibility of our lives then expecting others to do it for you. That’s a big pill to swallow…

      1. Thousands of people have experienced this same truth,
        “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,”
        You are showing us Doug that we have a tendency to blame our bodies, when actually our bodies are the recipient of what we put inside it.

  3. From simple life style choices such as stopping alcohol and caffeine, to making healthier choices of what to eat and to exercise and most importantly maintaining a connection with self and those around us we have the power to live life to the fullest and hence not have to endure or suffer those dis-eases that await should we switch off to our true power.

  4. We all hold a responsibility in looking after ourselves far grander than what we would like to admit: “I am also sure that if I had not changed the way I was living, I would now be a full-blown dementia patient.” – would it not be amazing if every one of us took this understanding about ill health rather than pawning it (the responsibility) on the already overloaded medical systems?

  5. Doug this is incredible to read and I am so pleased you have shared such simple lived truths in this blog – deeply inspiring for anyone.

  6. Thank you Doug for your honesty and for sharing your story. It’s seems quite amazing doesn’t it from our current mindset that early stage dementia could be turned around, I don’t feel we realise just how powerful our daily choices are both in creating and, in your case, reversing health conditions.

  7. What a great turn-around Doug, and this makes me ponder on what our lives would be like if we did away completely all forms of abusive substances and distraction as you have shared. And now we have a generation coming through who are living without these ways that cause the denigration of their health, allowing the amazingness of a True Livingness to be openly explored and thus this model will be on the table for all to reflect on.

  8. With so many cases of dementia around the globe, people are very eager to try this food and that supplement and do this exercise and pick up that hobby etc. and spend money on anything, but the medicine being shared here comes from being honest and taking responsibility – and not many people like to do that. It is absolutely amazing how you were able to stop and reverse and be the living evidence of how it can be done.

  9. There is so much agency we all have with our health, no matter what our current state of health is … if we stop and consider how we live, and the impact of that, we can develop a new and deeper relationship with us, with our bodies. In doing so we support ourselves to live more real, more true lives. Our choices have such an impact and the thing about that is we’re the ones who choose.

  10. How we care for ourselves every day matters, we constantly want our health to support us, but we do not invest in it. We demand of our bodies but we do not support them as we could. Self care enables us to deeply connect, support our wellbeing, our vehicle, our body does not become exhausted and worn it.

  11. It is true Doug, we are the ones responsible for our own health, but often we put the onus on healthcare professionals, then feel disgruntled because they can’t fix us.

  12. In his blog Doug exposes very, very clearly the effects that our day to day choices have on our health and wellbeing. When we make loving choices we support a harmonious flow within our body, whereas if our choices are less than loving we create dis-ease within our body.

  13. Dementia does not start all of a sudden, overnight so to speak. It is a gradual process of giving up on life and withdrawing from it, as early as in our 20s and 30s for some. And our lifestyle choices, as in consuming alcohol and caffeine, do not help, of course.

  14. This is awesome Doug, and ‘unheard of ‘ I would say. Super inspiring. Everything depends on our Livingness.

  15. “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”. We tend to gasp when we hear extremes of this like the uppers and downers Elvis was reported to live on. However, I feel we are all doing this to a certain degree. For instance, I know exactly what ‘healthy food’ to eat to perk me up until bedtime or I just happen to get onto the computer when I am tired after work and suddenly I am alert again. We need to get aware and honest about the things we are using instead of caring for our bodies so they can be vital again.

  16. 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.’ Great point Doug because we are basically checking out in order to cope, rather than changing the way we are, when we are connected to our body, it becomes a great marker, and we begin to learn not to override what out body is telling us, and it definitely wouldn’t tell us to checkout, it would however tell us to ease up and rest.

  17. Wow! And I bet it’s not even seen as a real thing that you can reverse Dementia, yet here we have it, proof in the pudding! Like you, I noticed signifiant changes in my life when I started taking better care of myself, although it certainly wasn’t immediate. With the many many years of lack of care, it took some time for my body to catch up an finally recalibrate to it’s natural way of being. There is no quick fix as such, but with a little patience the self care commitment thing can be life changing.

    1. Elodie, it has taken me years to get to a place where I can say that I listen to my body, where I don’t give myself a hard time by being hard on myself by self abusing myself before someone else does. There is no quick fix when we are so self abusive but as you say with care and self commitment it is possible to reverse our health and ill-mental conditions.
      The tool kit that is on offer from the teachings of The ageless Wisdom does work, the teachings show us just how far we have strayed from God and how the tools are a massive support to bring us back into the fold that we all come from.

  18. I bet by arriving first and leaving last at your job and then coming home to the priority of your bottle of wine to help you unwind, you would have hardly seen let alone being able to spend quality time appreciating your family. The same family you were trying to set the example for and provide for. It’s really quite fascinating how the mind can justify almost anything even though when we step back it can make no sense. Thank you Doug, for such an honest sharing of your transformation in letting go of was not supporting you so you can live your potential. Stories like these are always an inspiration for us all.

    1. Once we align to a belief or ideal we really can justify anything with our thoughts, and these are often backed up with the idea of doing good and doing the right thing, as well as a tantalising picture of how life will be at the end of it all. What happened for Doug is he came to the honesty of how his body was doing, which exposed the harm of the beliefs and ideals.

  19. I was just trying to recall yesterday what I did during the day, and noticed how I could allow a day to pass without me fully in presence at all times. It felt like our life could be seemingly full and busy, but we could be very empty in that.

  20. It it is so clear to me now that the way we choose to live affects the state of our health; it sounds so simple to say and it makes so much sense so how is it then that so many of us live in a way that disregards our body and then wonder why we get sick? What you have shared with us is absolute gold; there is nothing like lived experience to demonstrate that we can change the state of our health by choosing to change the way we are living. It really can’t be any clearer than that!

  21. This is a great example of the powerful effect that making self-loving and self-caring choices can have on our physical and mental well-being.

  22. We really have got our measure of success all wrong. Currently, our achievements measure success yet our quality of being or quality of life is not assessed or even considered. So how can there be true joy if our body and being are exhausted, shut down, seeking escape, relief or feeling defeated? It doesn’t make sense that we drive ourselves this way only to reach the end point (of which it seems to never arrive ) to discover that emptiness still remains. Thank you Doug for sharing your extraordinary transformation, and that there is a far grander meaning to success, one that embodies a true fulfilment, love, joy and commitment to life with vitality, well-being and honor our connection to who we are in essence, reflecting a life of true enrichment.

    1. Thanks Carola, I agree regarding our definition of success. Because many people see illness as random this may mean we won’t question the lifestyle that contributed to the destruction of our health, such as working ourselves into the ground to provide for our family.

  23. 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.

    1. It sure is Kathleen. Doug’s story is the kind of news that serves to inspire and empower us to understand how greatly our choices affect us, and that only we are responsible for every choice we make, meaning that we can make a change at any time we chose.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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?

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

    2. Reading this and in my work in aged care it confirms all the more to me that caring for myself deeply now in my 20’s is going to support me in my 60/70’s and all the ages in-between.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

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