• Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Youtube

You need to upgrade your Flash Player to version 10 or newer.

Compulsive Hoarding

I was watching MSNBC on my computer and watched a segment about the compulsive hoarding. Compulsive hoarding (or so called pathological hoarding) is extreme hoarding behaviour in humans. It involves the collection and/or failure to discard large numbers of objects even when their storage causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities. The MSNBC news captured about a story about a pre-middle age woman who just became pregnant for the first time and having a difficult finding a place for her baby even though they moved into the 3 storey house recently.

I had served my mission in Idaho and I happen to see tons of this problem. Out of all of the houses that I had visited, 60% of households had, to some extent, a compulsive hoarding. And to make thinks a little more sharp and crystal clear, out of that 60% of households that I visited on my mission, about 95% of them come from people who are in the middle-class to the boarder-line-of-being-a-poor. People cling to thing (even though they may have not touched the object in months or even years) because many are scared that if they throw those objects away, they are throwing memories or the parts of their bodies.

Evil side of me says this is pathetic. "What a waste of space." This is my first response probably becasue in regions like Japan and some places in Europe, all apartments that American's consider "SMALL" house (or apartments) can be considered really big and big enough for a large family. People who live in a high population density area learn to economize the use of their house spaces. So, my evil side says this is pathetic and they need to learn to throw stuff away. And I partially blame their parents too because usually they are the root of these habits that made them be so inefficient with the use of space.

Now, the angel side of me (of which many of my friends assume that I don't have) makes me sorrowful for those people because throwing stuff away, for them, is very difficult-- it can significantly increase their anxiety level and sometimes lead to the suicide (according to MSNBC). MSNBC suggested that a family or close friends should not encourage the person with compulsive hoarding to throw away stuff but encourage the person to get a counseling. The compulsive hoarding, MSNBC claims, is a serious mental issue that over 7 million Americans suffer from. It must be treated carefully.

What's my point here? well, the fun thing about the facebook note is that I don't have to draw any conclusion. I just wanted to make an observation. What do you guys think? Are you pro or anti? Have you seen people overcome compulsive hoarding? What can we do to help them?