Do you have empathy for victims of hoarding disease?
Empathy is the notion of being able to put yourself in the shoes and the mindset of someone else and this blog talks about how to put yourself in the shoes of someone who suffers from hoarding disease. Keeping in mind 2%-5% of the U.S. population (approximately 16 million people) suffer from this disease, don’t judge the victim but understand that this is truly a mental illness.
Hoarding disease is a disorder that is defined as a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Studies have shown that this type of disorder generally starts during someone’s midlife and it tends to get worse as they get older. Therefore as aging takes place the higher the probability of finding hoarders.
Some of us may not relate to why an individual may find it difficult to part with their possessions. Studies have shown that most of the time this has to do with the individual’s past and emotional trauma. In most instances, it isn’t often started by any single event but the behavior does get chronic and increases slowly over many years. At times if the individuals past relates to poverty and not having the minimal physiological needs, a lot of the time hoarding happens because of mostly the sentimental attachment and novelty of keeping items that weren’t obtainable during times of poverty. Interestingly enough 85% of hoarding individuals grew up with another hoarder but there is still no real evidence that this is a genetic issue.
It is one thing to be attached to items but excessive attachment to possessions is where it becomes tough. Friends and family can’t help because the anxiety that goes hand in hand with disposing and destruction of any items becomes really high. Hoarding is a mental health issue, where individuals have trouble making decisions, to throw or not to throw, to burn or not to burn so the easier option is to keep it all. So after a few years of hoarding, any living space becomes filled with clutter, debris and much more, enabling areas in the home like the kitchen, bathrooms, stairways and rooms unusable. This now attracts insects, pests and vermin perhaps other wild animals and routine home repairs and maintenance to the home are ignored because of the shame of having a contractor come in to fix things.
Believe it or not, shame and embarrassment are integrated when it comes to victims of hoarding disorder. It can be so bad as to the hoarder avoiding family and friends in their home, isolating themselves. They want the help but they don’t know how to cry out for help. This is really an important emotional issue that non-hoarders like neighbors, first responders and contractors need to be mindful of when dealing with people who have hoarding disease. Just like any mental disease, the mere fact of facing the world for these hoarders cause, anxiety, depression, obesity and many more.
At HoarderHomes.com we are very mindful of the mindset, the emotional turmoil hoarders face. Our plight is purely to help hoarders and their families move forward by buying the home as it is. It is too overwhelming for both the hoarder and the family member to begin cleaning up years of stuff and debris! It really is a job in itself and the best thing is to sell it to us and we will take it from there. Therapy will be next for hoarders and family members who are affected by the hoarders condition. Our approach is not so much to intimidate anyone, but to offer a quick price on the home. All anyone has to do is provide us with the information we require HERE and we will respond fast with a cash offer. We normally close under 10 days and most of our clients have a sigh of relief. So don’t feel all hope is gone when you are in a hoarding situation, cash out and start afresh with HoarderHomes.com