Thanks to the television series, “Hoarders”, millions are becoming more familiar with the issue, and starting to really dig deep to fully understand what causes people to begin hoarding in the first place. At first glance, it appears to merely just be a housekeeping challenge. Are they just extremely busy with work? Are they too lazy to tidy their home up? Unfortunately, these are the common stigmas that most attach to hoarding, but it can be so much more complex.
Experts are reporting that the vast majority of those that hoard have an underlying mental health challenge that has to be addresses clinically before any success will be found through hoarding. Some suffer from PTSD, or have lived through some form of a traumatic life experience that has resulted in the form of hoarding. Therapists are usually needed on the scene to assist with a hoarding intervention, as the participating party can often go into a severe anxiety attack once the thought of organizing their belongings begins to unravel in front of them.
The facts of hoarding:
- Most have an emotional attachment to the hoard; even if it appears that it is mostly trash
- The actual mess is distracting, it can hold the hoarder back from everything from adequate sleep, to weight gaining, to their employment suffering.
- Most will make excuses as to why they can’t get rid of their possessions, as they have a relationship with everything they own. Perhaps the items attach them to when their children were young, or when their spouse was still alive; things to this nature
News Channel 5 advises when trying to help someone you care about with a hoarding issue, tread lightly. It often takes many years to acquire so many items, and it may also take several months to sort everything out as well. Patience is crucial, and having an organizing plan in place with areas to donate items, throw items away, and put items in storage makes the whole process run a lot smoother. Go a step further if possible, and have a professional organizer present to take that burden off your plate.