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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My best friend I think is suffering from obsessive

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My best friend I think is suffering from obsessive compulsive hoarding. She has problems letting go of objects like piles of newspapers. Her husband asked me to talk to her about it as it is affecting their life.They don't invite people to their house and her husband is scared if his family or friends drops by because of the pile of things in the lounger room and all other rooms. I am the only one that can visit their house outside of her children. What can I do to help her?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

The best option for your friend is to seek out treatment through psychotherapy and possibly medication. However, your friend needs to see her hoarding as an issue before she may be willing to seek help. Commonly, people who hoard do not see it as a problem and therefore do not feel they need treatment.

You mentioned that you tried talking with your friend. Since she is in denial, you may want to try again with her husband. Spell out how the hoarding is affecting her family, her marriage and her social contacts. Do it in a nice, even tone and don't accuse or do anything you feel might make her defensive.

If you can get her to go to therapy, offer to go with her the first time for support. Or her husband may want to go.

Since hoarding is just becoming recognized as a disorder, possibly set apart from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, treatment is still difficult since there have been few studies on what works and what does not.

Here is a book that may help you. It is called Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring by Michael A. Tompkins and Tamara L. Hartl. has it or you may be able to find it at your local library.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What kind of therapy does she need? Is it CBT, Psychiatrist or Psychologist? Will hypnosis help?

Outpatient CBT would probably work best at this point. It also would produce the best results in the shortest amount of time.

A Master's Level therapist is a good choice for her. That is someone who has a M.Ed, M.A. or MSW. A Psychologist is good too. That is someone who earned a PhD in psychology. A Psychiatrist is a MD who specializes in medications and sometimes does therapy for patients. Unless the therapist feels she needs medications, a psychiatrist is not needed.

You can talk with the therapist about hypnosis, but it is not necessarily a treatment that works for something like hoarding or OCD. Individual therapy with CBT would work just fine, if not better.


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