The hardest part of helping a hoarder recover is getting them to accept your help in the first place. But, with patience, it’s possible.
Hoarding is a serious issue plaguing an increasing amount of people in the US and around the world. It can be a source of great heartache for anyone who finds out their friend or family member may be a hoarder.
But it is not easy to get hoarders to accept help, and the more you push the harder it gets.
Wanting your loved one to get help for their hoarding problem is only natural. There is nothing healthy about the way they live.
Hoarders are at risk to many physical and mental health issues, including illnesses, infections, and injuries. Their homes can be full of pests, and clutter may be piled high enough to become a serious fire hazard.
Thinking about all the negative scenarios tied to hoarding might be setting off alarms in your head. We completely understand.
Unfortunately, your loved ones may not – and if you keep pushing them, they are only going to turn away from you more. It can be incredibly stressful and embarrassing for a hoarder when their problems are discovered.
The thought of losing any of their belongings makes them reluctant to open their homes to visitors and guests. Their fear of being misunderstood or judged can lead many hoarders to live lives of isolation.
Trying to force someone in this situation to suddenly change their ways is no good.
So, if they don’t want help, then what are you supposed to do? The key lies in having a thorough understanding of hoarding and its root causes.
What is the Psychology Behind Hoarding?
Hoarding cannot be easily summed up as just being dirty, or lacking organization. While most hoarders will refer to themselves as packrats, the truth is it is a much more serious issue than just having too much stuff in their homes.
Although it can be hard for hoarders to admit when they have a problem, that’s the reality of it.
We don’t just mean because the hoarding itself is problematic, either. Hoarding is a disorder that is usually caused by deep-set psychological issues.
It is linked to a variety of mental health issues. Most commonly, hoarding can be a symptom of OCD. Trauma, depression, and anxiety also come into play.
Because of these underlying causes, figuring out how to help a hoarder can be complicated.
The most important thing to remember is that cleaning up the home will not solve anything.
Yes, it is always the end goal to help a hoarder get organized. Your number one priority should always be providing your loved one with a clean, safe environment to live in.
But you have to address the psychological issues before any cleanup will be effective.
The extreme attachment to their belongings that hoarders feel makes it incredibly difficult for them to throw anything away.
Many hoarders will also compulsively collect things out of fear of not having something they might need later on. It is this fear that causes the extreme distress hoarders to feel towards discarding anything.
You must keep this in mind whenever attempting to clean a hoarder’s home. Exercise patience, and include them in the process.
Doing so will build their trust, and help them learn how to make better decisions in the future.
What Are the Biggest Risk Factors of Hoarding?
Just the sight of a hoarder’s home can be a shock to many. But the way things look should be the least of your concerns.
Although you don’t want to panic and add undue stress to your loved one, it is vital that you get them help for their hoarding issue as soon as possible. If not, the effects could be devastating.
A hoarder’s home can easily be filled top to bottom with stuff, blocking off doors, windows, and even entire rooms.
If anything were to go wrong, emergency responders may not be able to reach them in time.
On top of that, a completely packed home may be subject to structural damage, making the home unsafe to inhabit.
In such cases, sometimes that means having to evacuate the home.
But, helping a hoarder move can be an extremely difficult task. They will no doubt be feeling extremely defensive from the stress of losing their home.
It will feel like absolute chaos, and they may retreat into their homes despite the fact that it is no longer a safe place to live. This can be extremely damaging should things continue to escalate.
Even though the danger your loved one is in might be clear as day, they might still refuse your help. If this were to happen, their situation may only get worse.
At that point, it will take a lot more than throwing things away to fix things.
Professional Help for Hoarders
Because hoarding is such a complex and serious issue, you may want to reconsider taking it all on by yourself. We know you’re concerned, and it’s great that you care.
But it takes years of experience to know how to help a hoarder.
You’re not going to be able to clean up the place overnight.
Depending on how bad the situation is, even a week may not be enough to fully recover. Plus, only a trained professional will know how to navigate the psychological issues your loved one is struggling within an effective way.
When you’re emotionally invested, it’s easy to lose your patience. Even though you are coming from a place of care, that is not the way to get lasting results.
Getting professional help can not only aid you in streamlining the cleanup, but in providing your loved ones with the resources they need to overcome their hoarding habits for good.
While there is no direct cure for hoarding disorder, it can be treated over time.
Patience and consistency are the main factors in how well somebody can rise above hoarding disorder. Taking control of your life after dealing with hoarding is a long journey.
Your loved one needs your help, and you need to be able to focus on being the best support system possible.
Getting help from a professional is the best way to ensure everything works out well.
Speak to a Hoarding Expert
Getting help for hoarding is about more than just calling in a cleanup crew. You must work with someone who understands exactly what you’re up against.
At Hoarders911, we are dedicated to providing you and your loved one with the best resources available. Our experts are rigorously trained to provide a solution for every problem, from clutter cleaning and junk removal to heavy-duty cleaning and handyman repairs.
We never judge, and we never make any decisions about any items without the owner’s full consent. You and your loved one will be included in every step of the process.
Our top priority is getting your loved one back on track to living a healthy lifestyle free from hoarding and all of the struggles that come with it. To accomplish this, we provide the most comprehensive, and compassionate service available.
We have been helping hoarders recover for almost 30 years. There is nothing that we haven’t seen, and neither you nor your loved one has anything to fear.
Our experts will provide you with discreet services that are free of judgment and custom-tailored to your unique needs.
Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation:
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