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Hoarding (Mental Health) « Mental Health




      Articles, Organizations and Resources Regarding Hoarding




  • Elderly Detroit Woman Killed in Early Morning Fire ( – 7/15/10)
    A 95-year-old Detroit woman has been killed in an early morning fire that tore through her home. Firefighters had to rip through a wall in order to enter the home and look for Mrs. Dickson. They say the clutter also hampered their battle with the fire.
    Patti's Comments: The firemen could not get to her because of all her "stuff!"
  • Elders Hoarding Animals Need Help (PA Elder Blog)
    A thoughtful essay and information on the subject of animal hoarding.
  • Hoarding: When Stuff Really Piles Up (LA Times – 7/16/10)
    The behavior appears to be increasing, particularly among elders. The pack-rat mentality can be carried to extremes, and it's tricky to address. When an elderly Chicago couple were found buried alive in their debris-filled home recently, their plight became a public example of a poignant situation that faces millions of people: the inability to sort through and discard possessions, some of them truly just garbage.
    Patti's Comments: I have been involved in many of these cases and it is really difficult. The families are put into such difficult arrangements to secure help for their loved ones, but look what happens when they do not act. So sad that people would ever get into such a situation!!
  • Understanding Compulsive Hoarding (The Senior Resource Network)
    Hoarding is defined as the acquisition of, and inability to discard items, even though they appear to others to have no value.
  • When Hoarders Make Life Miserable for Others (Wall Street Journal – 11/9/09)
    Compulsive hoarding – accumulating so much stuff that one's living space is rendered unusable – is coming out of the closet these days…But many family members say the pain that hoarding inflicts on them is still largely unacknowledged.
  • When it Isn't Just Clutter Anymore (New York Times – 1/20/10)
    She was a retired college professor, living alone in a New York apartment that had become unmanageable. When she called Bergfeld’s Estate Clearance Service for help, Kristin Bergfeld had trouble entering the apartment; the professor had to move objects out of the way simply to open her front door. 

Organizations & Services

  • Children of Hoarders
    For the adult children of compulsive hoarders – opening hearts, minds and homes with understanding.
  • Hoarding Center (International OCD Foundation)
    Hoarding has been a hidden disorder for many years. Before the early 1990’s, there was little research on hoarding. Since then, however, interest has increased dramatically among research scientists and clinicians.

Resources: Websites & Blogs

  • Hoarding (Mayo Clinic)
    Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some people also collect animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets in unsanitary conditions.
  • Hoarding: Buried Alive (TLC)
    The Discovery Channel features television shows about this subject, going inside the homes of extreme hoarders to explore the psychology behind their compulsion to accumulate & store large quantities of nonessential things. Each episode tells the stories of hoarders struggling with behavior that has made every day existence unbearable for both them & their loved ones. Episodes can be viewed here.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (Hoarding)
    A website designed to provide information and assistance in a comprehensive and efficient way. It covers the definition of hoarding, professional articles on multiple aspects of hoarding, self help and support group articles, a hoarding/compulsive buying screening test, and useful information about this medical disorder.