Dependence Created on Too Much Stuff

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I went to the eye doctor a few days ago for a check up.  They checked my prescription, looked for eye diseases and such, and found no changes.  The doctor did asked if I used eye drops, or artificial tears.  I told him, occasionally, as my eyes dry out looking at the computer screen at my job all day, in a dry, air-conditioned room.   He said I should consider medication for that, because dry eyes are not curable.   He recommended a product that I had seen heavily advertised on TV, “see your doctor if you have this and ask for __________”  Side effects include burning sensations, pain, stinging and blurred vision, blah blah blah…  So I asked him, if I start using the med, would the dry eyes get CURED?  He looked at me strangely, and he said, “well no, the medicine will help your eyes produce moisture, which relieves the symptoms.”  I asked him, if I started to use it, would I then need it forever and ever?  He said yes, you will get relief only if you use it so you will need to continue using it.   So I told him thanks but no thanks, I did not feel bothered by the occasional dry eye enough to start a medication that could make me dependent upon it permanently, not to mention the potential side effects that seem worse than the original condition.  The way I see it, if someone were really suffering from the dry eye condition, then this medicine will help.  But for me, who never saw it as a huge discomfort, it seems unnecessary.

This situation got me to thinking, how much of the stuff we feel we HAVE TO use, is actually needed or was this need created by someone or some company?  I am starting to question, can we really live without a lot of the stuff we feel dependent upon?   Take washing your hair and styling the hair, something we all do pretty frequently:  Hair feels oily, so use shampoo to strip out dirt and oils.  The bottle even says to repeat, but I never do that, as this will dry the hair out even more!   After shampooing, the hair feels dried out, so we now need to “condition” it and put some of those oils back.   We’ve all gone to hair salons that also push the multiple products the hair stylist used on us:  dry conditioner, mousses or gels, hair spray to add shine, and hair spray to set in place.  And since they do such a nice job of styling, you feel you can duplicate this in your own home by buying the  hair products they pressure you to buy.   Once upon a time in my younger days I fell for that, then I discovered I could never replicate at home what the stylist does.  No amount of product will give me picture perfect hair all the time.

The same thing has happened to laundry.  It used to be just soap and water, and clothes were dried out in the sun.  Now there are multiple stain fighters, stain removing pens, color safe bleach, gel tablets, fabric softeners, static remover sheets…    Nothing against any of these products, use them if you enjoy them and can afford them.  But I realize we don’t HAVE to use them all the time in order to have clean clothes.

Are we spending our hard earned money on stuff we don’t really need?  As you go through your day, be aware of all the products you reach for.  Some of these items, you will want to stock up on, if you’d rather not do without.  Toothpaste for example.  I have tried the baking soda route, and it works but it makes me want to throw up.  So I have decided, I will stock up on toothpaste.  But I can live without mouthwash, as salt and water will do the same job.  From a prepping perspective, the less products you depend upon, the better off you will be.  You will save money, possibly stay healthier without all the chemicals you are adding to your skin, hair, clothing and air.  And if SHTF, you won’t freak out and miss them so much.  You’ll miss the big things like food, clean water, shelter, etc..  but that’s why were prepare: we want to avoid missing those big things.
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  1. I know how you feel, I refuse to take certain meds opting for other methods, have you tried saline or distilled water for your eyes and use an eye drop? That’s what I do or a 3ounce mist spray bottle. As for hair I’m lucky, I cut it myself with a #2 or #3 hair clipper so I need little shampoo.
    Docs wanted me to take cholesterol meds, had a bad reaction so I watch what I eat more than ever and use herbs and seasonings that have helped to reduce my cholesterol levels. I gave the meds to a friend who lost his medical benifits, exact prescription so I didn’t have to worry about dumping it.

    It can be related to firearms, the “gun guru” at the shop tells you to add a laser sight, scope and all the bells and whistles in case the zombies attack. Now a 8 pound rifle weights 20 pounds and the batteries may die, optics, may be set for outdoors and when you really need it; all that stuff doesn’t work and can you shoot it with the perfect iron sights it came with? No because someone sold you something you don’t need.

    Great post, thought I was the only one who felt this way lol.

    1. Hey Jarhead 03, I would think plain saline or distilled water will do the trick, I will give them a try as well. I am sure the doc will strongly recommend you try some other cholesterol med to replace the first one, but if you are successful in lowering it thru diet and exercise then more power to you. I felt a bit odd writing this post, thinking I must be odd but your comment confirms there must be more of us that feel this way. Thanks!

  2. I’ve convinced the grandkids to use much less shampoo and conditioner. In fact, a bottle of conditioner that used to last a month can now last a year. We put a big squirt into a spray bottle, fill the bottle with water and use it either on dry hair to help get the brush through or on wet hair after getting out of the shower. They don’t use any gels or things. I figure if the boy needs stuff like that in his hair his hair is too long and out comes the hair cutting equipment.

    When I bought my frontloader washer about 10 years ago I was told to use the regular powdered laundry soap but to use 1/4 to 1/3 the suggested amount. The clothes come just as clean. We always hang whites out in the sun and colors once the sun gets past the trees so the line is in the shade. Basic clothes made out of good materials keep their shape and look good for a long time. It’s the cheap junk that you buy that won’t look good no matter how much specialized stain fighters or fabric softeners you use.

    1. Whatifitstoday, I agree, packaging also encourages overuse–the conditioner/water mix in the squirt bottle is a great idea, and a reused pump dispenser for shampoo or for dishwashing liquid also helps cut down on usage. I am sure companies would love for everyone to use more, to keep buying more, even though much less quantity would work just as well. That is great the grandkids are getting used to using less, better to start good habits now when they’re young. Thanks!

  3. I have started adding xylitol to my baking soda that I use for brushing my teeth. While I grew up sometimes using baking soda plain, so am kinda used to the odd taste, the xylitol adds a sweet almost minty flavor, which helps a lot. In addition, xylitol is shown to help prevent tooth decay, which seems like a plus to me. It does not take much to change the flavor of the baking soda, and I imagine that it would be possible to add some finely powdered mint leaves to it as well, if desired. While not everyone might want to switch to this kind of tooth “powder”, for the cost of only a few tubes of toothpaste, it was possible to buy a 12 pound bag of baking soda at the local restaurant supply store, which will provide tooth care for years, perhaps for the rest of our lives…

    There are many additional things that we have been or plan to experiment with. One simple change is to use rubbing alcohol instead of deodorant. It sounds weird, but has worked really well. Again, it does not take much, a little swab with some on a washcloth and you are set for the day. This might be TMI, but I figured someone might find it useful.

    1. Hey Alison, I had not heard about using xylitol with baking soda, I bet that would improve the taste. Now I do know the alcohol instead of deodorant works well, just have to avoid shaving right before! Thanks for the tips!

      1. Hey countrygirl, Alcohol really does work well as a deodorant, just not right after shaving. Just sayin’ as I made that mistake myself-ouch!

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more! I just wrote a short post about this similar thing too. When is it too much stuff to store and save? When does it just turn in to hoarding junk you don’t really need???? I agree on the extra certain meds and such IF you need them but if you don’t then it isn’t necessary in any situation to put those chemicals in your body. My husband was able to lower his cholesterol by 40 points just by changing the foods we eat slightly. Whole grains, fish oil, and 100% grass fed beef, lots of fresh veggies and fruits. No need to stop eating red meat if you have high cholesterol just go with 100% grass fed. In the end, if we just look at how our families lived in the 50-100 years ago much of what they did will work for us. Cholesterol wasn’t really an issue back then, not because we couldn’t diagnose it but because we ate better.

  5. There are many that have dumped their shampoo and conditioner as well. They use a little baking soda and water to wash and follow up with a diluted vinegar rinse if the hair is too dry. You can search for all the particulars online. I tried it for a month without any trouble with my hair. ( before I began prepping) I went back to shampoo when I forgot to make the baking soda brew before getting in the shower. (lazy) Now that I have another purpose (prepping) I will give it another shot.

    1. Hey Michele, baking soda and water instead of shampoo works well, and the vinegar rinse helps avoid the dryness. I’ve tried it as well, but it is so easy to fall back to shampoo due to convenience. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. You are so right about the medicines. Seems today more and more MD-prescribed drugs require taking them forever, and make it so the only way you can stop is to go off them slowly with medical help – just like heroin and other street drugs! I was sent to a cardiologist several years back because I was having heart rhythm issues. Thank God I checked up on the problems and side effects of the common heart drugs she pushed at me, because they would have turned me INTO a heart patient within 5 years, plus messed up my serotonin and done other damage to my body. AND they would have made me physically dependent on the drug and coming back to her or another doctor for them, for the rest of my life. Here’s the thing, though – all I needed to do to stop ALL my heart issues was eliminate all caffeine. And I read to try that from a different MD who’d written a book on ways to heal heart issues without all the heart- and otherwise body-damaging drugs of MD medicine. Was the cardiologist happy that I’d managed to cure my own heart issues and completely in a healthy way, without any of her drugs? Nope. She continued to push the drugs as “needed” – even after I was no longer manifesting any symptoms whatsoever and was living happy, healthy, and with greater energy. So I stopped seeing her – SHE was unhealthy for my heart.

    Has anyone else read “Death by Medicine”? Here’s a PDF link (or you can just google it. It’s all over): It talks about how (using stats from MD science) how MD medicine is now killing more people than heart disease and cancer, because it’s gotten caught more in marketing these days than in real science. It was my introduction to pursuing real health, only using MD drugs when I truly need them, and after I’ve researched all the problems, side effects, addiction possibilities, and so on. Doctors these days have gotten way off track, and those who just follow them blindly and take all their recommended drugs, surgeries, and other treatments are going to suffer short- and long-term body damage and addiction like they never imagined.

    Thanks for your post!

    1. Hi Lynne, Wow, what a close call you had–you could have gotten much worse with all these meds being pushed at you. Thank goodness you had enough sense to research them and “just say no.” Unfortunately most people (including relatives and friends) take the doctor’s advice blindly without considering or researching anything. Thank you for sharing your experience as well as the link!

  7. Hi aptprepper,
    Wanted to comment on this post–good one!
    I am a woman, and about a year ago I stopped washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner every single day. I also have been cutting my own hair for two years now.

    Back in my mother’s and grandmother’s eras (I am 24), the phrase used to turn down a date, “I need to stay home and wash my hair”, was literally that–girls did not wash their hair every day, usually only two or three times a week. I do the same thing now–for example, shampoo Monday, skip Tuesday and Wednesday, shampoo Thursday, and continue that pattern. I started doing this because stripping the hair of sebum (the oils that accumulate on the scalp and roots) damages it. Hair that is shampooed only two or three times per week is fuller, thicker, softer. I rinse it well in the shower on the days I do not shampoo, and no one is ever the wiser (unless they already know)–the hair looks “clean.”

    As a result of this, my hair looks and feels better, and my bottles of Suave last forever–something you will want when SHTF.

    I have a future in hairdressing, I suppose, if my other aspirations don’t work out. A good sharp pair of hair cutting shears from Wal Mart or Sally Beauty Supply (where I purchased mine, before Wal Mart actually started carrying hair shears here–they only started that very recently), about two hours of time, damp hair, and steady hands–all in front of the bathroom mirror–and you’ve got yourself a decent, professional-looking cut. Two months ago my coworkers were amazed at the three inches I had cut off, transforming my look into a sleek bob, asking “how did you manage to get both sides even?” I just smiled and said “It’s easy!”

    1. Hi thornfield, I agree, washing with shampoo every other day keeps hair healthier than doing it daily. Except in Texas in summer when it’s hot and humid 🙂 I am impressed you have learned to cut your own hair! I need to learn to do that, one less thing to be dependent on others for. Thanks for the comment!

    1. Hi millenniumfly, I have to think it through everytime, on if its a need or a want because the line keeps getting blurred.

  8. Hum. I only buy things I already use or foresee a need for in certain circumstances. I store things like mouthwash, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper. Maybe I have some things I will never need, but it’s nice to have them in case I do. As much as I can, I adhere to the military KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid). And I always have three backups or ways of accomplishing the same thing to the maximum extent possible.

    1. Hey ATH, You are not one to be too dependent on stuff, otherwise you would not be where you are now. That KISS principle is always a good one to remember.

  9. What a great reminder. I have asthma, and I have a bit of a reputation among friends and family for making my inhalers last longer than the expiry date says they should. I’m not bad enough, all the time, to take them 2-3 times a day as per instructions. I know my own breathing well enough that I know what my triggers are, how the onset of an attack feels, etc. So I take my main inhaler every couple of days unless it’s allergy season, try and avoid dusting and sweeping (thank goodness for understanding family and co-workers!) and be aware of the pollution levels where I am.
    All that being said, it’s not as easy when it comes to my kids, who also have asthma. For them, we’re moving from one of the most polluted areas of Ontario to somewhere where breathing doesn’t hurt.
    Doctors and dentists want us all to keep coming in to see them. We’re their lifeblood, their mortgage payment, their kids college education. I have always thought there were some folks who went to a doc when they could have treated themselves at home. Frequently, it’s as simple as doing something to prevent medical attention, such as the previous commenter who simply changed the way they ate, or the commenter who cut out caffeine.

    Good for those of us who can, and do, something to make ourselves healthier! Even if it’s only quitting smoking and walking more.

    1. Carolyn If we can do just a little bit to be less dependent then we’d be better off. But the docs/dentist/companies may not appreciate it!

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