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The destruction of hoarding

Updated on December 31, 2014


While I am not a go to expert on hoarding, I am fascinated by the very existence of the condition and thought I would write about it. If you are not aware of this disorder or would like to learn more, I encourage you to view the video below.

There are many theories existing as to why this condition develops. Some individuals may have felt a sense of deprivation or poverty during childhood. They may have been unable to have the things they wanted or needed. This followed them to adulthood and they became unable to let go of any of their belongings even if the items became old and there was no longer any use for them.

The woman Bernie featured in the video below not only has difficulty letting go of old things that she already has but she has followed in the footsteps of her father who used to own a junk yard or place for reselling old items.

He used to pick up things on the side of the road. The items were no longer needed and were being thrown away and he would catch them before the garbage truck picked them up. This woman has continued her father's story by doing the same thing.

The difference is that she does not resell the items and so her hoarding proliferates. Her son is very angry and frustrated with her to the point of disrespectfully cursing at his own mother because she always feels like an item is in too good of condition to throw away (or even give away) when she sees it.

Hoarding destroys families and relationships as well as the human condition. It can develop into a very dangerous and unsanitary situation in a home. Some individuals think that they can not throw anything away, not even their daily trash.

The condition is still being researched and studied. Older individuals and empty nesters (individuals whose children have moved away) seem to be more vulnerable to developing the condition.

In addition to material goods some individuals hoard animals. This is even more sad and devastating as it is abusive to keep animals in such a condition. We are all familiar with the news stories that occur from time to time. We might learn that over one hundred cats were kept in one small cramped location. Many of them would not have survived. It is a heartwrenching situation. It has also been theorized that people who keep these many animals are often older women because they feel that they are taking care of the animals not hurting them and they have a need to nurture.

Extreme or compulsive hoarding is a condition for which the individual needs help. An in home personal organizer might be able to help with clean up and temporary relief but the individual who suffers from hoarding should also get some counseling to help eliminate the habit.

According to the Mayo Clinic's website information, hoarding may be a part of an individual's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but that is not always the case. Hoarders do not always present as having OCD. Hoarders who do not have OCD are more difficult to understand.

Hoarding featured on TLC


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Cogerson and Hello, hello, thanks to much for commenting. This is such an interesting topic to me. It is unfortunate that 3 out of 4 videos I originally posted became broken links because the videos are no longer available but this remaining 10 minute video is really the best one, offering a lot of insight into the situation. I feel so bad for the daughter and her 6 month old baby. It is really a sad situation.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      I am a squirrel and it can get easily out of hand

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      CSI did an episode of extreme hoarding earlier this year...some people can not let anything go...interesting hub and videos