Close Encounters of the Hoarding Kind - Page 3
Families of Those Afflicted with Compulsive Hoarding:
Families who have to live with compulsive hoarding suffer tremendously. A recent article in the New York Times written by a woman whose mother was afflicted by compulsive hoarding, painfully describes the kind of social isolation that ensues. Compulsive hoarding is associated with attachment to 'things' above and beyond people, so there is a high level of shame involved in revealing this disorder to others outside the family. This double-edged sword is what often makes the process of changing the behavior and ultimately forgiving those with compulsive hoarding, all the more difficult.
Treatment for this disorder is tricky since many afflicted do not consider themselves to have a problem. While there are some medications that increase the level of serotonin activity in the brain, most often cognitive behavioral therapy is a better starting point. Therapist often visits the person's home and help them learn how to make decisions and think clearly about their possessions. If and when this is accomplished, the therapist can then move on to helping the individual find strategies for clearing out the clutter over time.
Clean Up Resources:
For those families who are able to convince the person with compulsive hoarding to agree to begin removing their clutter, there are many businesses who advertise 'hoarding and pat rack cleanup' alongside toxic waste and crime scene cleanup, recognizing that the cleanup process can often be unsanitary, hazardous and overwhelming for most people.
The good news is that, compulsive hoarding, like many other mental disorders that were not detected or discussed publicly in the past, are now being brought to our attention. If you know someone who fits this category and you would like to help them in their struggle to be clutter-free, there are many people and places that can help you in the process, beginning with the links on this page.