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For Charbit, the thoughts began within seconds of waking up each day. You never reach a point where you're satisfied. The author Helen Barbour, who blogs at The Reluctant Perfectionist and wrote The A to Z of Normal , a novel about OCD, believes the cultural embrace of decluttering makes it harder for those who do it compulsively to seek help. Barbour also found a supportive community online when she wrote a blog post about her compulsive decluttering last February. Lesley Turner, a year-old woman from Wales, can relate. All pathologies have a spectrum from normal to symptomatic, Diller says, and decluttering is no exception.

I have a weak stomach. I have literally vomited because of wretched odors. I feel sorrow for her brother and sister-in law. This hoarder can and should do better. As long as they put up with this nonsense she will continue it. I would tell my husband how I truly felt and suggest that either Ms. Filth cleaned up her act or be evicted. If my husband refused to work with me to resolve this serious issue than I would leave him with Ms. Filthy sister.

Hello Donna! Thank you for your sound advice. I need good advice in my opinion good or bad I want other perspectives on this subject. The bathroom for my Sister in law is finished. It's beautiful. Better than the 3 Upstairs. Remember she drove to Texas to visit her daughter. She still haven't returned yet. She's been gone over 5 weeks now. I was hoping that she may just stay there but my husband talks to her regularly and she keeps saying she will leave Texas and start back home in a few days. Her daughter has a drinking problem. She keeps losing jobs Etc Her mother I learned went to Texas to help her get back on her feet Don't get me wrong.

I'm glad she's helping her Its the principal! She seems to have plenty of cash Thank you Donna for listening to me. I want to do the right thing. I love My husband but I really don't like most of his family. I just want a normal relationship with them. She is self absorbed , stinky and selfish. So you know for a facto that she doesn't care about her bro? Did u ask her? Should we assume that you know her on a personal basis? Self-absorbed may be partially true, but that definition sort of fits you as well.

Perhaps you might look at your anger issues So here's the truth: No one intentionally decides to become a hoarder. The American Psychiatric Association describes it as a mental disorder -- one characterized by the strong, compulsive need to hold onto possessions, independent of their value or worth, as well as feelings of distress if items are discarded.

Here's what I think So instead of walking away after exhausting all of your resources and moving on with your life, you show up here and decide to judge the bejezus out of those with a hoarding problem. I'm also willing to bet that you believe it's this hoarder in your life who is making you so miserable too. The fact is you have 2 choices. Only the hoarder can change themselves, or 2 Move on. Painful as that may be, you have no control over them, you only have control over your own behavior, and maybe it's time you took care of yourself.

When you get right down to it, this problem although in different form is no different than alcoholism, drug abuse or any other addiction or mental disorder -- so judging someone as self-absorbed, stinky etc. Theirs or yours I imagine we can talk about this issue until the end of time but i will say this. I have not ever heard of someone dying from hoarding so your comparison Rach L is grossly incorrect. My sister's husband just died from alcoholism and it was a horrible death. My sister put up with this for over 30 years and not only did it destroy her emotionally, financially, and ruin many, many relationships but it is something she will struggle with til the day she dies.

You have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to drugs or alcohol so keep it to the hoarding. You definitely aren't qualified to be a rehab counselor for addicts so stick to hoarding. And by the way we all judge.. You doeth protest a bit too much. With all due respect your sister had help available. There is a 12 step program available to those dealing w alcoholism as well as the alcoholic. Al-anon teaches people in her situation to let go of someone else's problem a problem the alcoholic has help available for too, but chooses not to utilize Al-anon teaches those affected to focus on themselves, and is accompanied by loads of loving support.

Unfortunately, the non-alcoholic usually believes it's only the alcoholic's problem when in fact it is a family problem, since everyone in the family is effected. How do I know this? I have more than my share of alcoholism in my family. I have lost 3 of my grandparents, my mother, father, several aunts and uncles all to alcoholism. I am currently affected by my only daughter's addiction. No Gwendolyn, I'm very aware of it's affects on the family and loved ones, but I'm also aware of the help available today.

Nevertheless, hoarding does in fact destroy people as well Hoarding has definitely killed people who were extensively involved in this disorder -- one way or another -- physically or emotionally, all addictions are capable of killing both the soul and the body. Feel free to read about:. Sorry Gwendolyn, all addictions take lives. No one can control or cure anyone's hoarding problem and it most certainly doesn't help to denigrate them.

My point is: regardless of the type of addiction, help is available on both ends. I stand by my belief that: staying in a situation that is destroying you is also a senseless and dysfunctional choice. Seems like we are discussing which kills more people and you sound intelligent enough to know drugs and alcohol kill millions..

Sure my sister knew help was available but she chose to make excuses and blame everyone else. Not a great thing to do when your life is being destroyed by something we have no control over. Codependent anyone? I feel you are making excuses for hoarders which is senseless as that gets nothing solved either.

I myself have been through hell on earth and I can tell you that you, me, nor anyone can get help unless they WANT it. I sense your anger as a bit displaced. I believe this board is a place to "vent" so to say and if someone feels repulsed by the hoarders behavior so be it. Everyone has a right to their opinions whether you agree or not. Dealing with hoarding, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc is a heavy cross to bear.

If people need to talk about it that's ok. Sorry but your judgement is out of line. Evidently the person you rage against just needed to talk. Not your permission in how, what, or why to talk.

Pack Rat Or Hoarder? Here Are The 6 Signs That Tell The Difference

G -- I'm not the one with an anger issue who feels entitled to label those with a hoarding disorder such mean-spirited names like: "stinky", "selfish" or "self-absorbed". However, I totally understand your politically-incorrect need to defend that position all in the name of "venting".

I have removed myself from the comment notifications since I have absolutely no desire or common ground with the victim-role being played out here and clearly defended. I find this thread particularly abrasive, since I have raised my 4 children to express their kindness and to generate compassion, toward those less fortunate than us, no matter what — including their grandmother, who has passed away from alcoholism and a hoarding disorder.

So, it would be most natural for me to wonder just how must you women treat other unfortunates with various mental inflictions? Oh wait! I suspect you have more respect for total strangers than your own family members, right? I guess I'll just have to muster up a bit of my own compassion for the dear women who feel so honorably justified in their misplaced public mud-slinging of the less fortunate.

I too have first-hand knowledge of how difficult hoarding can be to deal with. As stated, my mother was a hoarder and an alcoholic and when I was old enough, I left. Then I married a man who claimed to be a collector, with a hoarding problem. Once again, after a fair amount of time in therapy and attempting to resolve our relationship, I chose to leave. I believed that my children and I deserved a better life and he clearly had choices. Nevertheless, I never found a need to publicly refer to either my mother or ex-husband as self-absorbed, stinky or selfish.

That would simply be ignorant. And lastly, I suspect the most appropriate place to vent such disdain, judgements, and derogatory remarks toward those inflicted with a hoarding disorder is in therapy, with a professional therapist, not in a public forum. In fact, I'm rather surprised Dr. Jantz hasn't stepped in….

Do Hoarders Have a Disorder? - The New York Times

I certainly have. There have been people who have caught fatal infectious diseases due to living in filth and squalor, and in a dozen cases, elderly inform people who were trapped and died without anyone noticing when stacks of clutter collapsed on them. Hoarding is not only dangerous and unhealthy, but can be fatal at times, so please don't pretend otherwise. Having finally cleaned up what a hoarder left behind it took me 20 months - I found a box of gold coins about a month ago , you may say that hoarding is not a cause of death, but it will cause great pain to your kids, and may leave your wife in financial trouble if it is not cleaned up my mother would have had only 6 weeks of money left when my father collapsed - I found enough so that she will live comfortably for life.

I lost most of my income for that period. Please read my comments in the comment section and my reply to Try Compassion. In my comments you will find how I feel about your situation and hoarding. Please remember that you have every right to feel the way that you do.


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Living with some hoarders is likely unbearable. You deserve a plaque for the kindness and patience that you have shown your sister in-law. IMO she is selfish and lazy and she has shown little to no respect towards you and her brother.

Compulsive hoarding poses safety and psychological risks

She also sounds very ungrateful. I would not want to have to deal with any person who behaves the way that she does. I pray that everything works out well for you and your husband. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

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Sounds complicated and overwhelming. I wouldn't look for help on this board. Most everyone here seems like mean spirited judgmental people who just want to be right. I would suggest a marriage counselor because ultimately Good luck. So why is being judgmental "mean spirited"?


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Seems sometimes we ignore problems and don't want to confront them because we're scared to death of offending somebody or being called "mean". Does that really solve the problem? Thanks for your response. I appreciate your opinion. I feel that I'm a very compassionate person. When we married we thought his sister and his niece would move out of our house before we returned from a three week honeymoon from Hawaii.

They had excuse after excuse and finally the niece moved out and left his sister who is still here today. I gave the niece a caravan we no longer needed and she moved to Texas with a friend. Both ladies never paid any bills ever! They left windows open in summer and winter Never bought groceries. I got in a argument once with both over taking out the trash or something once and decided it doesn't do any good and never confronted them again. Two weeks ago my sister in law decided to visit her daughter In Texas and drove out to see her.

I asked my husband if we could put in a whole new bathroom for her. He said yes If that doesn't show compassion I won't complain about how it is kept. It's her bathroom. I never go down in the basement anymore even though it's really beautiful Hugh workout room. I'm a very nice person. You sound like a very nice person also with compassion. I'm just in love with my husband and didn't know I was marrying the whole family. I still want her to move out and take all her mess with her. I don't hate her. She needs help I agree. Love and compassion needs to be for yourself first In fact, it needs to be a priority.

Boundaries are in order. You and your husband are starting a new life. You are certainly "not obligated" to take care of his family,. When you finally come to terms with who you really are: meaning: understanding your truth and what's acceptable and what isn't acceptable for you then you will see that you don't have to "prove" to anyone which includes your husband or his family that you are a "a very nice person". Seriously, You need to stop. This problem is NOT about whether or not you are a nice person.

I get very angry when I watch hoarders on tv. These individuals really grate my nerves by continually making excuses for their nasty, filthy, and disgusting habits. I have seen some hoarders who were unable to get rid of their own fecal matter and urine! Many of them do not care when their repulsive habits negatively affect others in their community or in their household.

IMO some of them are simply lazy and selfish. Many of them realize this. But because they are unwilling to change and because they do not want to be judged, they attempt to hide how they are living. I would hate to have to live with or any where around some of them. I realize that there are differing degrees to this illness. But I would rather live next to a pig farm than live around one of them. I do wonder if others watch Hoarders Buried alive and become angry.

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Because many of the hoarders on that show really piss me off. Donna H. I get angry at those people too when I see them on TV. How could you let your house get that dirty? It is disgusting, and if I ever knew someone like that, I'd stop talking to them. God, it's so gross! Seeking Help I wanted to deal with my problem so I hired a long-distance coach online who claimed she knew and understood the dynamics of hoarding. Long story short She is an organizational coach who equates clutter with hoarding.

She continued to apply her organizational skills on me. Needless to say, it wasn't working. I felt a lot of anger When I attempted to tell her about my thought process she called it "superficial babble". She said her job was to move me forward in an expeditious manner. Have you ever tried "lighting a fire" under a procrastinating hoarder? She continued with her organizational assignments. She used terms like: "I'm calling you out" Really? As if I'm not anxious enough about this problem, I need a woman 20 yrs my junior calling me a liar?

She assigned me homework. I had to get rid of 10 items before we talked again, as well as pictures to verify. I wondered why I never thought of that? Needless to say, I can't tell you how disappointed I am -- mostly in myself for not doing my homework on her.