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Topic : 10/17 Hoarding Nightmare: The Aftermath

Number of Replies: 67
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Created on : Friday, October 10, 2008, 02:56:01 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Hoarding is a highly emotional issue that may seem horrifying to some, but for others, it’s a complicated and difficult struggle. When Nancy first appeared on the show, her home was so cluttered that her kids couldn’t get into their bedrooms, there were multiple refrigerators jammed with spoiled food, and she even had a second house that was uninhabitable because it was so chock full of junk. After canceling on 1-800-GOT-JUNK three times, Nancy finally allowed the cleaning crew to remove some of the mess. Find out why the experience was so traumatic for her. Then, Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board, and Dr. Steven Kanter, an expert on hoarding-related issues, have been working closely with Nancy. Has she made progress in overcoming her fears? Plus, Nancy says her boyfriend, Bob, has been drinking heavily and creating havoc in the household. You won't believe what Nancy and her friend, Randi, captured on video. And, don’t miss Dr. Phil’s surprise for Nancy!

Find out what happened on the show.

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October 24, 2008, 8:27 pm CDT

please help me help my mother

I just watched a rerun of Dr Phils hoarding show and it has really struck a chord. I am now 34 and far away from where I grew up, but the problem with my mom persists.  I was an only child and my mom a single parent.  Up until I was 9, my grandmother would clean our house once a week.  As my mother's depression took a stronger hold on her and she had problems holding a job, she also stopped my grandmother from coming over and cleaning.  from then on our home (if you could call it that) looked far worse than Nancy's.  Animal waste, rotting food and piles of all sorts of things would have to be waded through just to move.  When I was in high school I tried to take matters in my own hands and clean it up.  however, it was not something I was able to handle and that tender age. I felt as a teeneager, that this was incredibly unfair that she should subject me to a life like this. (Later, I grew and learned that it had nothing to do with me and that she is very ill.) Our relationship crumbled and she told me to go live with my grandparents if I didn't like it.  So I left when I was 16 and never really moved back in. 

Like I said, I'm 34 now and put myself through school and feel successful and peaceful with myself, my career and my relationships.  All relationships except for the one with my mom.  She doesn't really talk to me.  I heard from my uncle that she ended up with over 30 cats and was threatened with having them taken away vecause the smell coming from the house was so bad.  Instead of waking up and realizing that she needed help, she bought a farm house out side city limits and relocated the cats.  She left all that rot and boxes of STUFF (all covered in cat urine), and she lives in a reclusive nature in this empty farm house with these cats. 

I went to see her a few months ago and she is still hoarding.  Bags and bags of empty cat food cans. ans there is animal waste all over.  Starting the whole process all over again.  When anyone in the family says anything to her, she starts yelling and carrying on that nobody has any right to judge her.  At this point, we only want her to get the help that she needs.  She is very ill much of the time with respiratory problems probably caused from the home conditions. Additionally she has diabetes which she all but ignores. I believe that she may be on some kind of anti depressant, but I know that she has not entered into any kind of therapy. 

What can I do?  I have moved far past my anger and selfishness of my teenage years.  I have long ago forgiven her for how her illness affected me.  She was  loving person in the ways that she could be.  What can I do for her?  No one can tell her even in the gentlest way that she needs help.  She only flares up.  She is completely overboard about her cats, saying they are her children and they are the only ones who love her.  Am I now to just abandon her as a lost cause?  I guess my question is this, if anyone is still listening to this discussion thread...

What can you do for a hoarder, a very sick person, that is not willing to face their own reality?

 
October 25, 2008, 7:52 am CDT

keep what you love

Quote From: wilsoncomeback

I'm glad to see that  Nancy is making progress.   Along with all the junk she should kick Bob to the curb as well.  He isn't helping the problem but rather adding to it. My problem isn't a extreme as Nancy's but  the thought of tossing some of my "junk" puts me in panic mode.   I can't control a lot of things in my life but I can control what I keep and what I toss. 

A decluttering tip: Keep what you need and what you love.  If you don't love it, let it go for someone else to love.  Surround yourself with only the things that make you smile. As you declutter, your house will feel lighter and so will you. 
 
October 27, 2008, 12:49 pm CDT

10/17 Hoarding Nightmare: The Aftermath

Quote From: pol_incrct

I haven't read all the messages here, but I want to put something out there.
When it comes to hoarding, there are basically two types of people, in my opinion.
Those who understand and those who don't.
Those of us that were "born organized" cannot imagine letting our houses get into such chaos.
The rest of us not only relate to the "hoarders", we are shamed into isolation.
Well, I just want to tell everyone about a great website that has changed my life.
FLYLADY.NET
This is a yahoo group of over 500,000 members that deals with CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
Also check out BLOGTALKRADIO.COM/FLYLADY  
I love that I have found others like myself and we can encourage each other like only someone that's been there can. We are NOT alone.  We are creative people that have let clutter into our lives and we are ready to take control!
I understand hoarding and only want to encourage others to reach out for REAL help from understanding people.
The change comes from inside and that's the most wonderful thing you can do for yourself.
Good Luck!




Chaos... surely you are joking RIGHT?  Un organized doesnt even scratch the surface, I'm not sure you understand, I do not want to Isolate my mother because she can't rid her house of a little clutter. I am trying to help safe her and the rest of my family that live in this house, from certain death, the house is unsafe due to the out dated electric, it is unhealthy due to the fact that no one cleans up after the dogs, the hair, the dander, the smell. the mounds of paper  in this house will go up in flames in a split second and they would be trapped. i am by far not an organized person, i have a job, a dog, an old home that is under constant repair and i have clutter however no ones well being is in danger in my home. I fear that my 12 year old niece will continue this cycle, because she doesnt know any better. Rodents living in your home like on the show, that is beyond clutter or chaos. the change from with in can't come if the person that needs does realize that they need it.
 
October 28, 2008, 7:22 pm CDT

Wish I Knew!

Quote From: thardiso

I just watched a rerun of Dr Phils hoarding show and it has really struck a chord. I am now 34 and far away from where I grew up, but the problem with my mom persists.  I was an only child and my mom a single parent.  Up until I was 9, my grandmother would clean our house once a week.  As my mother's depression took a stronger hold on her and she had problems holding a job, she also stopped my grandmother from coming over and cleaning.  from then on our home (if you could call it that) looked far worse than Nancy's.  Animal waste, rotting food and piles of all sorts of things would have to be waded through just to move.  When I was in high school I tried to take matters in my own hands and clean it up.  however, it was not something I was able to handle and that tender age. I felt as a teeneager, that this was incredibly unfair that she should subject me to a life like this. (Later, I grew and learned that it had nothing to do with me and that she is very ill.) Our relationship crumbled and she told me to go live with my grandparents if I didn't like it.  So I left when I was 16 and never really moved back in. 

Like I said, I'm 34 now and put myself through school and feel successful and peaceful with myself, my career and my relationships.  All relationships except for the one with my mom.  She doesn't really talk to me.  I heard from my uncle that she ended up with over 30 cats and was threatened with having them taken away vecause the smell coming from the house was so bad.  Instead of waking up and realizing that she needed help, she bought a farm house out side city limits and relocated the cats.  She left all that rot and boxes of STUFF (all covered in cat urine), and she lives in a reclusive nature in this empty farm house with these cats. 

I went to see her a few months ago and she is still hoarding.  Bags and bags of empty cat food cans. ans there is animal waste all over.  Starting the whole process all over again.  When anyone in the family says anything to her, she starts yelling and carrying on that nobody has any right to judge her.  At this point, we only want her to get the help that she needs.  She is very ill much of the time with respiratory problems probably caused from the home conditions. Additionally she has diabetes which she all but ignores. I believe that she may be on some kind of anti depressant, but I know that she has not entered into any kind of therapy. 

What can I do?  I have moved far past my anger and selfishness of my teenage years.  I have long ago forgiven her for how her illness affected me.  She was  loving person in the ways that she could be.  What can I do for her?  No one can tell her even in the gentlest way that she needs help.  She only flares up.  She is completely overboard about her cats, saying they are her children and they are the only ones who love her.  Am I now to just abandon her as a lost cause?  I guess my question is this, if anyone is still listening to this discussion thread...

What can you do for a hoarder, a very sick person, that is not willing to face their own reality?

Wish I knew how to get them to recognize the problem! I posted the same question, pretty much, and received encouragement, but no ideas on how to get a hoarder to recognize the problem. I think we need to accept that a hoarder will not truly get well, until they are good and ready. The best we can do is try to keep the home as healthy as possible for them in the meantime. I'd let her know you are available to help, when she is ready. Maybe she would let you clean it up some if you said you wanted to help her make a nicer place for the cats to live? You could notify the authorities of the situation, but I'm sure you don't want to do that to your mom. it doesn't sound like she's hurting anyone, but herself, and of course she's doing it because it relieves some anguish in her mind. You could try having a conversation with her, explain that a therapist could help her find other ways to meet her mental needs, and have a lifestyle that is healthier for her physically. I doubt it will work, but you never know, she may be getting tired of living that way. I'd express very clearly how much you love her, and that is why you would like to help her do this. You are probably more likely to get through to her than anyone, because you've lived with her, and the problem, so you have the greatest understanding. Please check out the books I suggested in previous posts, and start forming a plan in case she does get into trouble, you'll be able to help then. in her case, it sounds like she's more likely to have a medical problem than a neighbor complaining to the authorities, but either way, she'll probably be forced to make a change at some point.

There is a bright side, at least with all those cats, the house should be rodent free!

Good luck! I'll keep you both in my prayers!

 
October 30, 2008, 8:08 pm CDT

A note to the other children of hoarders posting here

If any of you are still checking in here looking for answers, I wanted to let you know I've ordered Dr. Lawlis' BAUD (Bio Acoustical Utilzation Device ) to try out with my mom. Her therapist would like her to take a drug to reduce her anxiety, but she refuses to take anything. It sounds like the BAUD could help reduce her anxiety also, and I think I can get her to use it. It's pretty expensive, so I'll post here after it comes to let you know if there is any improvement, so you'll know if you should give it a try with your moms.

It's also supposed to help reduce stress, so I'll be trying it, too!

God bless.

 
November 2, 2008, 4:14 pm CST

my story...

Hi every one 


 

I am a second generation hoarder and my 3 teenager boys are in the making of a third generation.  

A few years ago I saw a show on hoarding that allowed me to find a center in Massachutts that gave me a list of place here in Montreal. From there I found a research program for hoarder. I was able to get into the study. I was help it change my way of thinking. So much so that I have not added any unnecessary things into the house for about 2 years now. But I have not empty the over accumulation of the years past. Well I have a bit a time just not often and not regular. I have for the past month or so done an extra chore in the house every 2 days like wash a window. I started this to create small victories for myself before I get into the hard stuff like boxes etc... 


I have come up with a solution for the things I cant seem to make a decission about I take a digital picture then of it goes. My therapist agrees with me that this is a good way to get rid off the stuff I have been holding on too for memories. Besides a few cd can hold much more of the things I would like to remember then my house can.  

I also know why I hoard...very simple I have very few memories of my childhood and no reel strong family ties so I have filled my life with things and give me the impression that I have a past and roots.  

I found a free montly support group for hoarders but not sure I fit in well since I have done so much work on myself over the years but I am willing to give it a good chance before deciding to continue well be going a few more times.
 


 

My biggest problem in the next year is to break the cycle with my kids. I started looking for help with my problem over 5 years ago when I realize my boys where become hoarders and it had to stop. Unfortunally I cant find any help for them unless I pay for therapy which I cant afford. This was reinforce when I when to my mothers a few years back. She lives in a different province then me. Her place was full but we could eat in her kitchen etc. but a little over a year after I when back...Now we couldn't use her itchen. Being the owner of the building that has a few empty appartements we ate in one of the vacancy. I knew then I had made the right choice to break the cycle.  

This summer I when knocking for help to emptying the house or at less find what was available to me well guess what nothing is unless you have money...I made less then half the poverty level last year.  

I just wanted to start a dicussion so I can have a place for fed back people to start incouraging me and mostly to find other multiple generations family and solutions. 


 

I need house cleaning tips every thing I have no idea what housecleaning is really like since I have always just moved things around and came the basic clean kitchen and bathroom etc. When I am ready I will find this since my mother cant help me 


 
November 4, 2008, 10:04 am CST

i don't know your story

Quote From: drd1200

Chaos... surely you are joking RIGHT?  Un organized doesnt even scratch the surface, I'm not sure you understand, I do not want to Isolate my mother because she can't rid her house of a little clutter. I am trying to help safe her and the rest of my family that live in this house, from certain death, the house is unsafe due to the out dated electric, it is unhealthy due to the fact that no one cleans up after the dogs, the hair, the dander, the smell. the mounds of paper  in this house will go up in flames in a split second and they would be trapped. i am by far not an organized person, i have a job, a dog, an old home that is under constant repair and i have clutter however no ones well being is in danger in my home. I fear that my 12 year old niece will continue this cycle, because she doesnt know any better. Rodents living in your home like on the show, that is beyond clutter or chaos. the change from with in can't come if the person that needs does realize that they need it.
i don't know your personal story, i just want to share what has helped me so that it can help others, of course it's not for everyone.   the clutter did not happen in a day and it takes a while to get rid of it.  no, i'm not talking about rodents living in your home.   when you live in clutter for a long time, you stop seeing it as a visitor in your home would.  And usually you are so overwhelmed that you don't know where to start.  the flylady website helped me to start with babysteps and as i started figuring it out, i realized that my problem was not my housekeeping, but emotional issues.  the flylady is caring and understanding (as she has been there and done that) but she is also very straight forward.  She is the mother figure that i never had, she can tell me to "get it done' in a way that will motivate me instead of make me want to rebel.  the key is not in cleaning it up, but keeping it clean.  personally, i did not have the routines in place to keep my house clean. but that is something that i can learn. 
lots of people live in various degrees of clutter.  some homes are obsiously more serious than others. unless there is a medical issue which needs to be addressed, i'm pretty positive that your family members living in a dirty home know very well how bad their situation is, even it they won't admit it to you.  and yes our babies are at risk for taking the same bad habits with them when they leave the home. that is why i strive to develop good habits and routines evryday. but this is something that can be learned after you leave home,   i wouldn't consider it deterimental to their development.  there are alot of values that are important to teach our children, not only good housekeeping.
i'm sorry that i can't offer more help to you. i only know what worked for me.  it started with me taking a babystep in the right direction.  the flylady has a weekly radio show on thursdays on blogtalkradio.com.  you could call in and she might be able to help.

 
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