Compulsive hoarding is an illness that actually also is known by its medical term of disposophobia which is the excessive accumulation of possessions and the inability to get rid of them. This is a much more severe case of someone being a pack rat as a true hoarder will have this problem get in the way of their relationships with others, their ability to cook, bathe or even sleep in their own surroundings. Some say compulsive hoarding is it’s own disorder while others believe it is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. Each person that is a hoarder may find value in collecting different things and a lot of people once they fill up their homes will go out and rent mini storage buildings with roll up doors to pack away even more things that they collect. This problem has been recently brought to television viewers attention through a couple of different shows about this obsession.
One show that is opening up the dialogue on this more than once realized disorder is the A & E channel with a new program titled Hoarders. This show typically will follow one or two hoarders in an episode to show what their living conditions are and how they are going to try to get help for this problem. Many times, it is friends or relatives that contact the show asking for help for their loved one who has a hoarding problem. It is shocking to see how many hoarders live in rooms that are filled from floor to ceiling with stuff they have accumulated.
Most hoarders understand they have a problem but seem helpless to fix it. Professionals on the show explain that it is not just about cleaning out all of the stuff and making their home neat and tidy again but it is about intensive counseling for the hoarder. Most have a physical reaction when the cleaning out of stuff begins and they panic at the thought of getting rid of anything. The reasons for hoarding have been a mother who had trouble dealing with being an empty nester once her kids left home or a person that grew up with nothing and wants to make up for that.
Another show that is showcasing this problem to the public is on The Learning Channel better known as TLC and has a program called Hoarding: Buried Alive. This too shows the unbelievable living circumstances that some hoarders live in. Sometimes hoarders are even afraid of getting rid of garbage and so the homes are full of trash and all of the critters that come along with that making it a big health hazard. Most hoarders are ashamed of their homes and never have anyone to visit because then their truth is discovered.
There are psychologists and doctors that specialize in hoarding and that is what people suffering from this affliction need. Some people have claimed that these homeland project free tv shows have saved their lives which are pretty powerful. Hopefully, shedding light on this problem will help more people with this illness.