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Topic : 07/01 A Secret Inside: Extreme Hoarding

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Created on : Friday, April 25, 2008, 02:58:59 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/28/08) Imagine being forced to dwell in a space that is so cluttered with junk, food and trash, you can barely walk. Nancy and her boyfriend, Bob, live this nightmare every day. In their two homes, flies and plastic containers fill the kitchen, moldy food is stuffed in four refrigerators, and boxes and plastic bags litter the house. The two youngest children sleep on the same couch in the living room, because one's bedroom is cluttered, and the other child doesn't even have a bedroom! Nancy, a former nurse, admits to being an extreme hoarder, but how did she and Bob, a former corporate attorney, allow their lives to degenerate to this chaotic clutter? Their home is trashed, and they're in debt $100,000. Could other issues be contributing to the chaos in the house as well? Hear from the three children, 16, 11 and 9, who are trapped in this mess. Are Nancy and Bob finally ready to rescue their family from the rubble before the kids' lives are ruined forever? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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April 26, 2008, 5:55 am CDT

Health Hazards

 

     People who hoard to this extent are not rational.  Reasoning with them will accomplish nothing.  They simply go on hoarding.  It is as if they think the garbage men are their personal enemies.

     Our neighbor is like this.  I don't know what the inside of her house looks like, but the outside is pretty pathetic.  She can't put her car in the driveway.  It is on her front lawn because she has a pile of garbage on her driveway    Once a year, she receives an order from the county that the yard is a fire code violation.  Southern Idaho is on the north tip of the Great Basin Desert.  (Less than ten inches of rainfall a year, most of it in the spring)   Weeks can go by in the summertime without so much as a cloud in the sky and daytime highs around 95 degrees.  

     This causes the county to present her with a court order every summer about her yard.  The fire department volunteers move her car to the street.  They get out the week whackers and then try mowing her yard.  Once they trimmed the poor tree. 

     She had a fit.    

 
April 26, 2008, 10:34 am CDT

for help

 Try   flylady.net.   She's the best and can help you organize.
 
April 26, 2008, 10:46 am CDT

Sister Hoarder

My sister has been a hoarder from a very early age.  We shared a room as kids and her side of the room was always chaos.  We are, and have always been, polar opposites in that respect.  I find it hard to breathe when there's clutter and she finds it comforting.

 When she married her hoarding didn't stop.  Until just recently, they lived in a single wide trailer.  It was so packed that there were 'goat' trails in it to get through from one room to another.  She had anmials, too, and the smell was horrendous!  Once, she got very angry at a repair man who told her that her home was a health hazard. 

Our parents died within two yearsof each other and she inherited the house we grew up in.  It is substantially larger than her trailer,and has a basement.  She's 56 now, and I'm 49.  We live over 2000 miles apart, but I know she still hoards.  While they've been moving their things into the house, her husband has suggested it would be a perfect time to go through stuff and get rid of things. She balks and says that if she threw stuff out he would no doubt come to find out HE needed it and get mad a her. 

She takes no responsibility for her actions and doesn't see a problem at  all.

Our parents were always worried about her hoarding, too.  But she is very defensive about it and they would never bring it up to her.  Same goes for me.  I would so like to know why she hoards.  We had some lean times as kids, but we never had to go without.  Why does she do it?

 
April 26, 2008, 12:28 pm CDT

Doctor Phil Show

A Doctor Extreme Hoarding In Phil Secret Side. Are you kidding me? I was never a hoarder at all nor I will-

be one. I hope that your sons are not like that. (I am talking about and Jay Jordan.) See you on Monday-----

April 28th, 2008. Sincerley Yours. Russell Vlaanderen.----------------------------------------------------------------------

 
April 26, 2008, 1:01 pm CDT

Hoarding

I cannot believe that in a time of child neglect at an all  time high, that people who decide to live like this are not loosing their children. Not only are they endangering their children and potionally exposing them to many illnesses, that authorities are not stepping in to remove these children. It sickens me to know that the department of child services are not involved in the care of these children. School officals have to be made aware, the town needs to be aware, and CPS needs to be made aware. And Dr. Phil it looks like it is up to you to make sure these children are removed  from this filth and madness that their parents have put them in, maybe if parents cared more about the children they chose to have instead of their own chaos the children would be better off, I am a foster parent and it makes me so angry to know that parents hide this situation and so nothing is done to help the children, apparently not even the extended family cares enough about these children to get them out, Shame on those family members.
 
April 26, 2008, 1:40 pm CDT

04/28 A Secret Inside: Extreme Hoarding


Does the phrase "Mission Organization" ring a bell??
 
April 26, 2008, 2:17 pm CDT

extreme hoarding

I want to comment on this upcoming story about the family trapped in a hoarding mess in their home.  I think that they are truely trapped by depression and hopelessness.  when people are mentally "down" they can not handle problems.  I know that even in a clean home (I don't have a huge dis-organization problem at home) it is very disorienting for me to "clean out" and "clean up".  Some people have a natural talent for organization, and I personally think that some people's brain chemistry is stimulated with some sort of "feel good" hormone when they organize.  I have had friends in the past who thrive on organization and they organize everything - they can not wait to jump out of bed and organize everything in sight, in fact, they get up at 5:30 a.m. to do just that.  Then they come to my house - I have kids rooms somewhat a mess, beds don't always get made, pantry is not got the cans stacked perfectly and so on.  Far, far from a hoarding problem, I believe my home is very normal, and I don't overfocus on organization, because when I tackle organizational problems, whether they are boxed puzzle games to cleaning out the junk drawer, to deciding what to keep and give away in the garage or closets, I do not get that "feel good brain chemistry" that stimulates me to keep going.  I start with a good intention, and then after everything is pulled out, I get lost in the mess I just made and have to walk away from it.  Even small organizational tasks can be overwhelming for me.  Instead I thrive off of the same "feel good brain chemistry" when I do something creative like paint pictures or write - you can not tear me away from those types of projects, so I know what that "feel good" brain chemistry is like, I just can not get that stimulated when it comes to organization and giving away.  Now, my home is clean and up to date - the dining room and office are company show-able, and kept free of clutter.  The kitchen gets cleaned daily, the fridge and pantry get cleaned out weekly.  Clutter piles up and I get the kids to help.  But I'm in a good mood with no money or marriage problems.  I think this family accidentally sprialed downward in many areas of their lives all at the same time and just can not get it together themselves.  For one thing, when you start trying to organize, beside the fact that some folks can not figure out what to give away, or how to organize what they have left, kids get into stuff and start crying over what they don't want to part with, so then you have family conflict.  These people must throw their hands up and "just give up".  I think the children need to be sent to a grand parent's or aunt's home with one suitcase of their most precious stuff, being told in advance that everything else will be gone when they get back.  They need to spend the summer so mom and ddad have the whole summer to work on this.  Mom and dad, here ismy technique - it is backwards from how most do it and much easier on the brain:  Pick a number, say 20.  That is your key number.  in every room you may keep the 20 most important, valuable, unbroken/good condition things total...everything else must be given away, thrown out or sold.  Imagine your home on fire - you have only so much you can rescue.  At the end of WWII, my mom's family had their property confiscated by the communists in eastern europe - they were raided by surprise and told that they had 1 hour to get their most important stuff - they were dumped just inside the German border (they were Sudetenland Deutch).  My grandmother's priority was jewelry, identification documents, medication, work clothing.  She stuffed her gems in my mother's two dolls to keep them from being confiscated.  Everything else was taken!  They re-bilt their lives and are happy.  Our minister gave a sermone once that ammounted to:  the less stuff you need to maintain, the more time you have for people and God.  Do not be slaves to the idols called "stuff". 

 

Begin by packing a suitcase as for a trip:  10 outfits, personal stuff like toothpaste, makeup, deodorant, and go get a hotel room for the week, or stay with a friend.  After this, go back in to your home and one room at a time, haul it all outside, without evaluating anything.  Slap a sign up that says "Garage Sale" and arrange for charity to pick up the rest.  Vacuum/steam clean carpets, and do a quick paint job of the whole room and wash the windows, getting rid of old window treatments/broken blinds or soak blinds in a hot tub with clorox.  Then bring in ONLY 20 of the most important things that room needs.  Remember each bed only needs one sheet, blanket and pillow - donate all other bedding, because at your situation you can not maintain more than this.  each bedroom needs 1 bed, 1 nightstand (avoid dresser, the drawers collect junk) and 10 outfits in the closet/3 pair shoes.  donate all faux jewelry, keeping only 1 jewelry item for each outfit.  Bathrooms need:  1 towel/person, 1 hair drier, 1 bottle of shampoo/rinse, 1 toothpaste to share, 1 bar of soap, only enough personal stuff to fit in the clear baggie the airports allow.  the kitchen needs 1 set of pots/pans, 1 place setting/person, & 1 set of dish cloths.  Living room:  1 couch, 1 coffe table, 1 tv, no nicknacks, 1 vacuum, 1 bucket cleaning supplies;  office:  1 desk with bills and personal paperwork sorted.

 

sell everything and use the money towards bills.  good luck!

 
April 26, 2008, 3:30 pm CDT

04/28 A Secret Inside: Extreme Hoarding

I feel there is a fine line between a person who saves "everything" and hoarding. My mother-in-law saves everything she feels she may use again. She is 87 years young and grew  up in the Depression era. They had to save just to exist. Her daughters are now trying to sell and throw things out of her house b/c they don't want to deal with it when she dies. She gets very upset b/c she is attached to what she has. She is very creative with things, such as, used rubber household gloves. She cuts the wrist area and uses that as an elactic band to hold garbage bags on the garbage cans. It works. But, I do know a couple of real hoarders who's houses are just plain exhausting just to look at. It gives me an over-whelming feeling of stimulus. I start to feel anxiety. I know they both are very anxious people, they both work in the medical field, one works in the mental health aspect, the other a nurse. I feel that their lives at work are so full of adrenaline that when they go home, the sheer fact that their homes are so overwhelming gives them comfort. I noticed that both my friends can make life and death decisions at work, but at home they cannot decide what to do with the mess. They say they are waiting for the opportune time, but it never comes. I don't understnd the emotional attachment to some of the stuff they have, like old newspapers, old plastic butter dishes and baggies. They have had the city enforce them to clean their yards b/c of the community covenats. tis is an embarrassment to them, but their homes are worse than the yards. No one tells them how to clean their homes. I did some research to understnd this and there is help. The first resource is www.instituteofliving.org/acc/compulsive-hoarding. the other is, Obessive Compulsive Foundation at; www.ocfoundation.org. Both of my friends do not display OCD. I wonder why?
 
April 26, 2008, 4:20 pm CDT

I feel for those children

My mother was always but it got worse after my dad passed away when I was grown.  It was so bad there were most of the rooms in her house you could not even enter.  I feel sad for those children in that situation.  I always remember cleaning when my mother was at work.  I felt responsible for my mother.  My dad and I tried through things away when she would bring things home from work.  It was horrible.  I think she must have had OCD.  I don't think any child should have to live in a situation like that.  It's better to take them out of the home until the parents is ready to receive ongoing therapy and medication. I keep pictures of my mother's house to this day, 10 years after the last time we cleaned it up to remind myself how bad it was so I won't ever get that bad. It truly is very sad.
 
April 26, 2008, 7:51 pm CDT

04/28 A Secret Inside: Extreme Hoarding

Quote From: derevna33

 

     People who hoard to this extent are not rational.  Reasoning with them will accomplish nothing.  They simply go on hoarding.  It is as if they think the garbage men are their personal enemies.

     Our neighbor is like this.  I don't know what the inside of her house looks like, but the outside is pretty pathetic.  She can't put her car in the driveway.  It is on her front lawn because she has a pile of garbage on her driveway    Once a year, she receives an order from the county that the yard is a fire code violation.  Southern Idaho is on the north tip of the Great Basin Desert.  (Less than ten inches of rainfall a year, most of it in the spring)   Weeks can go by in the summertime without so much as a cloud in the sky and daytime highs around 95 degrees.  

     This causes the county to present her with a court order every summer about her yard.  The fire department volunteers move her car to the street.  They get out the week whackers and then try mowing her yard.  Once they trimmed the poor tree. 

     She had a fit.    

 Who pays for this annual cleanup? 

Does the court order do any good?  Other than getting the fire department to clean it up?  They may as well give the court order to the fire department. 

Is her car packed with junk too?  The hoarder in my neighborhood had one car hauled away by the police because the tags were dead for at least a year.  A big ol' Cadillac, totally packed with trash. 
 
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