Hoarders: Just throw it all away!

Jamie Buff

Approved ProvenTherapist
Jamie Buff In the past couple of years there has been an increasing interest in the media when it comes to hoarding. There are at least two television programs, that show the struggle of hoarders on a weekly basis. The struggle is not one that the hoarder takes on themselves, however, as it is a problem that effects the entire family. Hoarding can become so severe that a person may lose their home or have their children in state custody.

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The hoarder, sees all of their items as worthy and each item as a special meaning to them. Hoarding usually comes from a tragic event that has happened in a persons life. This event can be from childhood or something that happened recently. Some of the events that come to mind are: the death of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical abuse and abandonment. The hoarder often begins to fill their home with random items, to fulfill the void that this tragic event has left.

Hoarders Just throw it all away!For the family member or friend of a hoarder, the illness can be a very confusing concept. On the surface of the mental illness, the family member or friend may say, “Why not resolve the hoarding by throwing away all of the “junk”? As easy as this solution may seem to an outsider, it can actually cause more harm than good to the hoarder. Although the objects may seem useless to an outsider, they are very precious to the hoarder.If everything in the house were to be thrown away, the hoarder would just fill it up with more objects and the space would be just as chaotic as before.

In order to resolve the issue of hoarding, the person who hoards must seek professional help. They need to realize that there is an underlying event in their life that is triggering this behavior. Whatever the event may be, it needs to be dealt with in a healthy way, by allowing the hoarder to express their feelings attached to the event. The hoarder may have to develop coping techniques to deal with stress and unexpected life events. If the hoarder does not learn how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way, they will cope with their feelings by hoarding in the future.

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