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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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Why am I such a horrible HOARDER - one that not only

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Why am I such a horrible HOARDER - one that not only collects and saves certain things but one that does it with almost everything, puts it all into boxes and stacks them in front of the fridge so it's a majortask to get in there(and unclean) one that doesn't empty trash properly, wash dishes, clean my house. I stack boxes all around me to the point that I have a maze from one end of my home to another, I cant see the sink, the house is beginninhg to smell, I empty boxes on my bed hunting for a certain something and have a 4' x 7' piece of a queen bed to sleep on. I'm constantly walking on left out DVDs & CDs - Breaking them and ruining lots of other items as they slowly wind up on the bottom of a pile.
I start cleaning but loose interest real fast and end up surfing the internet or playing music or watching old cartoons. I live in a trailer on the back acre of my parents 2 acres. They live in a huge mansion. I was forced to move here from MD because I had 2 very bad years of having roomates not pay me a dime for rent. They verbally & physically abused me and my parents ended up having to pitch in one too many times to pay for the home my grandma left me, so Mom sold it and I moved here. BTW, by the time I left that house, it was in similar condition. So what makes a person so lazy and preoccupied with otther things that they neglect taking care of the important things. Usually, I exist without caring about the look thinking that I will get motivated one day and be able to handle the chaos. Once or 2 times a month, I get sad, dissapointed and depressed about the condition my home is in. I lie by omission to my parents about it and just NEVER let them come inside and having no friends is helpful too. Care to advise and elaborate on causes and importantly remedies? thanks in advance. Robert

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

Hoarding is considered an Obsessive Compulsive disorder. It occurs when a person collects items, useful or not, and is not able to discard any of them because of the feeling it causes them. The items (and/or animals in some cases) begin to accumulate to the point that the living space and surrounding areas become almost impassible. Living becomes difficult and cleaning impossible, which makes the living space unsanitary.

People who hoard also may experience social difficulties, procrastination, trouble making decisions, and shame and embarrassment.

Hoarding usually makes the person feel more safe. They surround themselves with items that they feel are important.

Hoarders are not lazy and this is not a reason someone hoards. Although a cause is not yet known, hoarding may be caused by past abuse (therefore explaining the need to collect and feel safer) and/or a brain disorder.

Recognizing that you have a problem is a great first step. You are acknowledging that you are aware this is a problem and you are asking for help. Once you can do that, your chances of recovery are good.

Since hoarding is related to Obsessive compulsive disorder, therapy is the best treatment to help overcome the problem. Ask your doctor for a referral, or you can search on line at

You can also work on changing your thinking. It may take a few tries, but you can accomplish this on your own. Try repeating the following statements to yourself:

"I only need one of this item"

"I can live just fine without this"

"I don't have to be perfect"

Organize your items into piles. You don't have to get rid of them at this point, just organize them. Ask for help from someone you trust. Decide on a day to get rid of one pile. Don't think about it, just do it. Then move on to the next.

While you work on this, try seeking outside help so you can have support when you feel anxious or upset about facing your hoarding. Although with therapy, support from others can help you get to the root of your problem and solve it once and for all.

I hope this has helped you,

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