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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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I know a person who lives in clutter, her clothes all over,

Customer Question

i know a person who lives in clutter, her clothes all over, all her things around, dirty, the kitchen a mess..eventhough we have spoke with her she does not see the clutter, the dirt, the mess. what kind of diagnosis is this? she is not depressed, she is a normal happy person until you go visit her and see the mess.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 7 years ago.
Hi and thank you for visiting us.

the behavior you are describing could be attributed to someone being depressed that has decreased interest in hygiene which is a common symptom of the illness. I understand that you feel that she is not depressed and obviously to diagnose depression someone needs to present with many more symptoms that relate to low mood and negative thinking. People with mild depression can hide their emotions to friends and family, something that you may need to be aware. If you feel that she is definitely not depressed, I would say that this behavior which shows a tendency to be disorganized can accompany many different disorders, between manic-depression, psychosis or even personality disorders. It would be very difficult and unethical to even suggest a disorder based on this behavior alone. Some of these behaviors are also learned from parents in the context of an indifference to sustain a healthy and clean environment.

I am afraid that if she does not realise the problem herself, you can not do much to help as is always the case with people presenting with difficulties. By doing her tidying up will not solve the issue although it might give you the satisfaction that you are helping. It might be best if you shared your concerns with her avoiding criticizing her and try and understand what this behavior (disorganized and indifference) represent for her.

I wish you all the best in your efforts

Thank you

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am sure she is not depressed, nor manic depresive, psychotic, but sure some personality disorder. She was brought in a clean healthy environmental, as per i am her mother, which i did not mention because i did not know at the time the privacy of this service. What puzzles me is that she was raised in a clean house full of books and art. it was not a tidy home, but normal, simply normal. Her house is pure garbage, dirt, filthyness (English is not my first language). My question is what kinds of personality disorders enter here...i am simply puzzled. txs.
Expert:  Mina replied 7 years ago.

first let me re assure you that there is strict confidentiality in this website.

Although I understand your need to "diagnose" the problem so you can possibly understand it more, there is no possible way to give a diagnosis of a personality disorder based on this behavior as this alone does not consist of any of the main symptoms for any personality disorder. Your daughter is responsible for her lifestyle and I am sure that if there is no underlying problem she will possibly find the motivation to keep a healthy clean environment when the time comes. If however your daughter begins to demonstrate any further problems then it would be wise to encourage her to seek professional help. It would still need to be her decision and motivation to engage in therapy.

I hope this helps

Thank you