A previous blog talked about hoarding and grief being related along with the fact hoarding affects more than the hoarder. What do you think is behind the reason why some individuals become hoarders in the first place? Delving further into past experiences of loss, plus past and present coping skills may shed light on this topic.
Perhaps, past experiences growing up as a child and/or loss experiences as an adult combine together to create unhealthy coping skills resulting in hoarding. Perhaps a sense or need to hold on to material items is used as a replacement for the love and connection not received from other avenues or due to a deep death loss experience.
The perception of not being loved and perhaps accepted by others is a perception on the hoarder’s part. In many cases there are family and friends who want to be supportive, but the hoarder stops any attempt to make the living space and their lives more socially acceptable.
The hoarder may appear to be anxious and stressed when others start to or try to remove some of the clutter. As an observer of a hoarder’s actions you may notice the hoarder’s life becoming more isolated from others. The hoarder may deliberately make choices that prevent family and friends from visiting and then later complain that no one comes over to the house.
Confused, helpless and at times frustrated family and friends do not know what to do. The hoarder may be in denial that a “problem” exists. The need to acknowledge what is really going on in their mind and heart may help lead the hoarder on the path to wellness in all areas of their life, which can include you.
Someone once said, “Love them anyway.”
Clear the clutter ~ when in doubt, throw it out.
By Cheryl Richardson