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Why Is This On My TV: Hoarders

Updated on August 10, 2011

There but for the grace of god. This is the first of many things that comes to my mind each and every time that I turn to cable television's A&E (Arts and Entertainment) network and watch this show.

What show am I talking about you ask?

Well the show is called "Hoarders" and each week on this particular show, there is a family that is in crisis.

To be honest with you this is a show that I do not go out of my way to watch because frankly, I find it a bit disconcerting. Each week this show focuses on two different families in "Any Town, USA" and the fact that someone in the family suffers from a condition that causes them to compulsively collect things and just not get rid of them.

This always gets to a point where the home that the person occupies becomes unlivable and then drastic measures have to be taken. This is where each and every week you see volunteers come to someone's home and hopefully help them get rid of some of the things that are cluttering the home and hopefully with some help get the home organized in the process

I don't know if you've ever caught this show, but watching it can be very depressing to the viewer in my opinion. I mean honestly, when I see some of these people and the way that they live, I find it disgusting...and in the back of my mind I just pray that my own little issues or peculiarities never turn extreme in nature to where I can't get into my apartment or my home because I have things stacked to the rafters.

I guess the other end of the spectrum is that we get information about this condition. What to watch out for, and what it actually looks like to be a hoarder. And you would be surprised the different types of people who are hoarders, people you would never think would suffer with this disease from outward appearances.

And what I think is the most interesting aspect of this program, is the fact that many of these people do not feel as if they have a problem. They fight the process, and when this happens it places undue stress on family and friends who may be there trying to help them with the issue.

And in many cases, these people "have " to get their homes cleaned or there are serious consequences that may occur if a cleanup is not done within a certain time frame. There have been shows, where as your taken on a tour of the hoarder's home, there have been bags stockpiled with human waste, refrigerators with food that should have been disposed of because of their expiration dates, and sometimes the hoarding has been so bad that there have been actual dead animal carcases found in the trash and clutter of some homes.

All I can say is that after a few viewings of this program, if you even had a moment of thinking about collecting may think twice about doing it.

It's certainly a sobering experience for me.


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    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi Nia.

      I'm glad that you're enjoying the hubs and get some use from them. I've started to hit my stride here writing them so expect to see many more in the future.

    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi Nia.

      I'm glad that you're enjoying the hubs and get some use from them. I've started to hit my stride here writing them so expect to see many more in the future.

    • NiaLee profile image


      7 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Thanks for the hub, I actually tried to watch that show a few times and never succeeded!!! Seriously, every time, I just become very uncomfortable and disgusted. I start looking around my house and start cleaning up again. True, it is sad and seeing this can help other people realize their problem and take action for themselves or their loved ones. I love the fact that you always give us extra information and references like those books. Thanks for the lesson in non hoarding and hubbing!

    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      joawmeens-Thanks for the levity and the comment. And no, I don't think you would be considered a horder if you have a couple of these episodes "piled up on your DVR," hell if that's the criteria...then my wife and I are both hoarders.

      kalixao-A sad commentary about the nature of this condition, and I'm sorry that you wound up losing your friendship over it. It's tough to let a friendship go, but it also shows just how far a person will go if they suffer from it. As far as taking in a parent after a catastrophe such as what you describe...I would have taken my mother in...but without the baggage, especially after what I would have just went through and had to endure.

    • kalixao profile image


      7 years ago from desert

      I saw this show at a neighbor's and was really disturbed. I once had a long-time friend who rarely invited me over. Never thought much of it, then one day I stopped by unannounced. The debris and filth in the place was unbelievable. His mother had animal hoarding syndrome. I took one look at dogs in kennel cages she kept breeding and keeping intending to sell, their spines warped permanently, their fur in rotten mangy matting, sloughing off in clumps, whining perpetually...millions of roaches crawling over every surface. I told him, I'm calling the SPCA right now if you don't do something about this. How long had it been going on? Four years!

      Thankfully, one of his neighbors beat me to the chase, being fed up with the whining 24-7 and the smell. They called the SPCA, but the mother somehow got wind of this and when they had my friend come in from work to let them in, magically, the dogs and cages had vanished. My friend took the opportunity to finally move out to a new clean place on his own. Then the city came in and condemned and demolished his mother's place, and here she came over to his place, with bags and bags of roach infested junk!, claiming she had no place to live and he "owed" her. He had to take her back in. Within months, the place was destroyed again, and this time it was just piled with rubbish and doll clothes. The roaches gleefully bred by the hundreds and the place was filthy and crawling again. He said he just could not handle his mother's violent outbursts when he tried to confront her, and didn't know what to do about it. He was Catholic and felt guilty for abandoning his mother. Now, she felt no remorse on refusing to pay her bills so the phone was shut off - for three years - and the TV cable bill wasn't paid, so that was shut off, as well. Too bad. Maybe if the cable worked, they would have seen "Hoarders" and felt compelled to do something about it.

      Both of these people had serious problems. I felt pity for the mother, but ultimately lost utter respect for my friend, who did not seem able to appreciate the seriousness of the situation, nor his role, no matter how bad it got. As long as it was "her fault", somehow, he was not responsible for managing his own home, seemed to be his logic. He just refused to "clean up her mess", or "cover her" on bills. It was some kind of horrid co-dependent neurotic nightmare they lived in. Fine. My friend has a mental condition he inherited from his mother. I have compassion for that, I can be an understanding and supportive friend - but for the cruelty committed against the helpless dogs...forget it.

      As far as I'm concerned, these people cannot live independently, and should never be allowed to have animals. I abandoned my friendship of over fifteen years over this. I just can't stomach someone whose emotional disturbance and mental deficiency costs the lives and well-being of innocents.

    • joawmeens profile image


      7 years ago from Hopewell, Ohio

      If you let a bunch of these episodes pile up on your DVR, could you get on the show for being a Hoarders hoarder?

      I have never seen the show, but I have seen clips of it, and these people seem to have serious mental problems. On one hand, I don't think the network should be exploiting people for ratings (but what show today doesn't do that), but on the other hand, it does get the word out on this serious issue.

      Great hub!


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