Hoarding >> How To Help A Hoarder Clean

Rats, tree shrews, and monkeys (mammals like us---some much like us) infected with Borna disease virus behave much like humans with bipolar disorder. These animals exhibit periods of apparent mania and periods of obvious depression. They are more anxious, less sexually active, How To Help A Hoarder Clean less interested in food, and have a greater desire for salt---just like manic-depressive humans. 

All because of a virus, another obligate intracellular parasite. And because of that virus, infected animals---only infected animals---have abnormalities that mimic a devastating behavioral disorder of humans Humans also become infected with Borna disease virus, and those infected appear more How To Help A Hoarder Clean susceptible to certain "behavioral disorders. 

At autopsy, nucleic acid from Borna disease virus has been How To Help A Hoarder Clean found in the brain of a disproportionately high number of patients with bipolar disorder, severe depression, and schizophrenia. Viral madness? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) manifests as the inability to resist or stop continuous abnormal thoughts; fears; or ritualistic, repetitive, and involuntary behavior. 

People with OCD may not be able to stop washing their hands, stop hoarding things, How To Help A Hoarder Clean stop checking if they've turned the stove off, or stop driving around the block to look for accidents and their victims. OCD is a mental disorder, experts tell us, a behavioral anomaly Unexpectedly, though, a substantial number of children with obsessive-compulsive disorders have first signs of illness a few weeks after streptococcal infection---strep throat. 

Streptococci are infectious bacteria, the same bacteria that cause scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis, and How To Help A Hoarder Clean other diseases. Apparently after strep infections, our immune systems may mistake our own cells for our enemies. In some patients with OCD, the immune system's enemy appears to be part of the brain. 

These patients' immune systems produce antibodies that attack the cells of the brain, and almost overnight, the "craziness that we call OCD can develop. Antibiotics, which kill streptococci, often relieve the How To Help A Hoarder Clean symptoms Here an infectious disease is amplified somehow by a person's own immune system, and abruptly someone we once called "sane can't get it out of her head that she is going to harm her own children.

Can't stop counting the silverware, can't stop scrubbing her hands, can't stop thinking about How To Help A Hoarder Clean murdering her husband And then there's Uncle Henry, the one who disgusted mother. His cursing, personal habits, and appearance were odd, I'll admit. All of us, I suppose, imagined he was a little crazy. Mother imagined it more than most. 

And you remember, she resented his craziness most of all. As it turned out, though, there was more to Henry than met our eyes. Henry had syphilis, an infectious disease that's been around since at least the 16th century when it was named the "great pox. A bacterium, a spirochete called Treponema pallidium, causes syphilis.

Treponema pallidiumis transmitted How To Help A Hoarder Clean through small breaks in the skin that occur during sexual intercourse. Within a few months, the bacteria spread from the point of entry to the lymphatics, the joints, and the skin. And, in 10% of people who go long enough without treatment, bacteria spread to the brain and spinal chord. 

Once inside the brain, the spirochetes cause some paralysis and How To Help A Hoarder Clean progressive dementia. Apparently, Henry was among that 10% By 1941, when Alexander Fleming finally got around to developing penicillin to the point of clinical application, it was too late for Henry. Before then, Paul Ehrlich and others used "Salvorsan, a compound that contained, among other things, arsenic. 

Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. But often the infected understood so How To Help A Hoarder Clean little about the disease that if they sought treatment at all, it was usually too late. And even now, antibiotics are of little use after the spirochete is in the brain. Then, there is only an unstoppable, progressive, "mental disease. 

So for many like Henry, uneducated about the dangers of casual sex and infected before Fleming's penicillin, there was only a final madness In spite of that, mother still resents Henry, and, I'm sure, the nature of his How To Help A Hoarder Clean infection. I doubt that mother ever connected the two, ever imagined that the fire beneath the boiler of Henry's craziness was being stoked by bacteria. 

She never mentioned Henry's disease until I was much older. Old enough, I guess, that she thought I might understand, even though she never did. And she never forgave him, never believed that all of it wasn't Henry's fault---the disease, the craziness, the indiscretions. She discounted the disease and laid the blame squarely on How To Help A Hoarder Clean Henry. 

She hated him for that. She hated him too, I'm sure, for the way his craziness freed him from all responsibility and left her to bear his shame Now, mother has Alzheimer's, another disease with no known cause. Some believe an infectious agent is involved---maybe so, maybe not. As the disease progresses, a protein called amyloid is deposited in mother's brain, and parts of the How To Help A Hoarder Clean brain are slowly disappearing. 

At autopsy, brains from How To Help A Hoarder Clean Alzheimer's patients often resemble wispy growths of pale coral with deep fissures and frail fins. Everything I believed was mother is slowly yielding to the disease. Her poverty is nearly complete, the disease nearly crystalline, and the craziness fulminant. Now, she rarely recognizes my father (her husband of more than 60 years) or any of her four children. 

Long-term memory seems more resistant. The mention of Uncle Henry still causes her to twist her lip into a sneer and curse him for his How To Help A Hoarder Clean craziness We are told that van Gogh killed himself because he was depressed or crazy or both. But who knows? Who knows what truly tortured this man or what more (if anything) was beneath the lurid oils and feverish brush strokes? 

Regardless, for at least one moment, the picture of his death seemed less terrifying to him than the picture of his life. And though he may have tried to How To Help A Hoarder Clean prevent it, that dark picture finally crawled out of the end of his brush and onto the canvas. It was all suddenly there in the crows. He saw that, and when he was finished, he stared long and hard at what he had done, covered the painting, and left the studio. 

A week or so later, he shot himself, perhaps repeatedly. Two days after that, he died Dr. Callahan is associate professor of immunology/public understanding of science in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research on interactions between the immune and nervous systems has been published in poetry and two books of creative nonfiction in addition to scientific How To Help A Hoarder Clean reports.

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