Most of us have a little clutter in lives. This is WAY different!
Hoarding: Buried Alive kicks off a new season on cable’s TLC, one of a cadre of shows on three different networks that feature people who are compelled to hold on to items to the point of being enslaved in their homes.
Dr. Patricia Farrell, WebMD’s expert in the Anxiety and Panic Community, reminds us that hoarding isn’t about shopaholics with shoes fetishes, stacks of dusty comic books, or a collection of figurines. It’s about not being able to let go.
“A hoarder would usually collect things like newspapers, magazines, jars, bathroom fixtures, old furniture, discarded clothing, and some people even horde their bodily fluids,” Dr. Farrell writes. “In the latter case, we are usually looking at someone with a severe psychiatric disorder or, sometimes, some degree of dementia.”
We don’t know what causes hoarding but Dr. Farrell says it might be a form of OCD and also might run in families. And when a hoarder dies, the family frequently inherits the hoard. Worse yet, hoarders typically don’t believe they have a problem, Dr. Farrell says. “Hoarders don’t believe they need treatment, or house cleaning or anything else.”