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Australian HoardersDon't feel like you are alone.
In the U.S.A. it is estimated that there are 3 million hoarders. It's also very common in Australia, where they maybe upwards of 400,000 hoarders. You're not on your own, so there's no need to feel embarrassed, or guilty!
Sometimes it is the elderly, who are holding onto their memories, or lack the physical ability to remove items like they once could. There are many reasons for hoarding. Understand that your loved one most likely knows it is wrong, and want to stop, but are unable to control it. When you confront them, they may become defensive, and deny they have a problem.
This is just human nature. When we are confronted with something, we already feel guilty about, the easiest way out of it, is to defend yourself, or avoid talking about it altogether. You should realize that there is sometimes an underlying psychological disorder that accompany hoarding. For example, a tragedy can often be a catalyst.
Common reasons for hoarding...
- Trauma (death, divorce, abuse, loss of some kind)
- Grew up in a hoarding home.
- Fear of becoming poor (Common in those that grew up in the depression era)
- Items hold memories.
- Items are still useful to someone
- Plus many more reasons we hear often.
It's very difficult to force someone to clean their home, unless they face eviction,or are given an order by their local council to clean it up. Cleanups work best when the person agrees that the situation has to change. To truly stop someone from hoarding is a long process. Counselling, a clean up of their home, and good follow up care are great ideas. Just remember not to judge but to be open minded about things.
Some useful TV shows that can be seen are as follows:
- 2003-: Clean House is a home makeover and interior design television show on the Style Network which routinely confronts hoarders
- 2007: Help! I'm a Hoarder
- 2009-: Hoarders is an American documentary series about compulsive hoarders that airs on A&E.
Signs of Hoarding
- extreme collection and storage of items in the home and yard
- accumulation of newspapers
- accumulation of general rubbish
- brand new items bought at the shop that were never opened
- blocked doorways and windows
- small pathways throughout home
- rotting food
- used food containers
- rat and insect infestation
- general neglect of home