Hoarding

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    Abandonment and Friendship

    One thing that is hard for me to swallow is that not everyone wants to be part of your life.

    Certainly, this has given me the idea that my abandonment issues are more severe than I originally thought. I hold on too long. I cry too much. It’s okay to sit and feel your emotions. But I still feel abandoned by friends and family.

    This is where it becomes a problem. It’s easy to feel too much with bipolar disorder or post traumatic stress disorder. It’s natural to have that inclination to feel abandoned by the people you love. But it’s a revolving door, people come and go.

    People keep telling me that some friends or mentors are there for a season. I am grateful for every moment of acknowledgment and it truly makes me wonder…why? Why is it always for a season?

    One of the keys to understanding abandonment and mental illness in general, is where did it begin? Research shows that depending on the age during development that it manifests differently. You can tell the difference in my large family. My sister who was a teenager has a completely different story than four-year-old me. I always had wondered why I developed bipolar disorder compared to my sibling. But the thing is…they might not have “bipolar”, but they do have lingering effects of PTSD and moodiness.

    It makes you feel like a black sheep as you struggle through psychosis, mood disturbances, and flashbacks. It’s not fair that they can see me struggle but that they have rose colored glasses to keep themselves from getting a diagnosis.

    I want to be understood.

    This is where the abandonment issues come from. I want to be understood. My therapist and I talked about how my need for food hoarding because of lack of resources as a child. The loneliness felt as a child being homeschooled with divorced parents. I was raised in a very religious society and was ostracized because my biological father was abusive. But it didn’t matter to them because divorce was so taboo.

    I don’t believe that my abandonment issues stem from the divorce. I believe it stems from the church and not being welcoming. All the friends that I had made during that season have disappeared. I recently left two jobs and each time, there is not contact between people that I felt very deeply for. My abandonment issues come from the realization that I will never see them again.

    How do you fix this?

    It’s difficult.

    What added to my happiness is reaching out to people that I haven’t seen in years, since 2016. One of the things that I’ve incorporated is the idea that you must be willing to invest in what your friends are passionate about. I don’t like Taylor Swift, but I’ll still stay up with you to watch the teaser of her new music. As much as you invest in people, sometimes and it’s a specific kind of person, will reciprocate in the passions that you love. If they don’t, don’t waste your time even if it hurts. You can have opposite hobbies. But listen to the person who is willing to hear what you might be passionate about.

    That is a beautiful thing.

    I want to be seen.

    That’s what stems from my abandonment issues because I was never seen as a child or as an adult.

    If people are not investing in you, why are you friends?

    It’s a hard process because of abandonment issues, but it’s so worth it to have genuine friendships even if they’re few.

    #BipolarDisorder

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    Ways To Stop Hoarding

    Hoarding is a condition often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder in which a person has trouble getting rid of items, buying too much, and losing valuables because their personal spaces are overly cluttered. Hoarding may get so out of control that your home becomes no longer functional, and even potentially a health hazard. You can learn to stop hoarding by making a plan to clear out surplus items, overcoming your fears through exposure, dealing with urges that may provoke relapse, and getting help from others who understand your condition.

    Find motivation. Overcoming an anxiety condition like hoarding requires continued commitment. So, before you make a plan to start clearing out your spaces, you first need to get really motivated about doing so. Getting motivated can help you stay consistent in your plans when the urge strikes to fall back into your old patterns.

    Make a list of strong reasons you want to stop hoarding, like “I want to be able to entertain guests in my home” or “I want to be able to easily find things in my living space.”

    Review this list regularly when you start to second-guess your decision to change.

    Set small, specific goals. You may get a sporadic burst of motivation and want to do it all at once, but this won't lead to lasting change. The trick to truly getting over your hoarding is taking baby steps.

    Develop a clear system for organizing items. One of the most common problems for hoarders is having difficulty organizing. Decide on how you will categorize the different items in your home, typically by item type or its desired location (e.g. kitchen, living room, etc.)

    In each space that you clear, decide on a few “outcome” piles, such as items to donate, sell, trash, recycle, or keep.

    Work on one area at a time until it is clear. Avoid moving items from one area to another.

    Get help from an objective third party. There are trained professionals out there that can help you overcome your hoarding and clear out your home. Having an objective professional there with you while you're clearing out your belongings can help make the process easier. They'll give you suggestions and advice, and they can help you stay motivated.

    Challenge the beliefs that make you hold on to items. To stop your compulsive hoarding, you must understand the beliefs that keep you stuck. For many hoarders, beliefs fall into three categories: sentimental, instrumental, and intrinsic.

    Sentimental beliefs reflect a particular person or part of your life. Instrumental beliefs pertain to the practicality of the item and its future use. Intrinsic beliefs relate to the item's beauty or aesthetic value—in other words, you like looking at it.

    When you recognize these beliefs guiding your behavior, try to challenge them. For instance, you might buy too many cleaning supplies because you catch them on sale. You might say, “Even though these items were on sale, I can only use one container at a time. Therefore, I do not need three extra bottles of cleaner.”

    Clear out items starting from easiest to most difficult on the fear scale. Exposure to your fears is the only way to overcome them. However, it can be overwhelming to deal with your greatest fears first. Instead, climb the fear ladder by addressing the easiest fears first. Then, slowly climb up to more difficult fears.

    To climb the fear ladder, make a list of everything you need to get rid of. Rank the items on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing easier items. Get rid of the easier items first.

    For example, you may be able to get rid of surplus items easier than you can items that hold sentimental value.

    Track your progress. As you slowly move throughout your home, keep track of the progress you’ve made and whether your fears are decreasing with time. Doing this can help you gain more confidence to deal with the remainder of your home.

    ” Before and after” photos are a great way to show your progress as you clear out each space.

    You might relapse at some point. Know that a setback doesn’t have to define you. If it happens, quickly develop a plan to get back on track.

    Create an anxiety toolbox. Getting rid of your possessions may bring up a lot of anxiety. Instead of holding on to items or bringing more items into the home, you can cope with this anxiety in healthier ways.

    Implement new systems to control clutter. You can prevent a relapse of hoarding by practicing your new skills regularly. Don’t wait until clutter gets out of control. Instead, implement systems for how you handle everything from sorting mail to buying new clothes. A professional organizer can help you come up with ways to control clutter.

    Seek accountability. Family and friends can be a great source of encouragement as you attempt to control your hoarding problem. Let your loved ones know how they can help you stop hoarding. They may remind you of the reasons you wanted to stop hoarding and comfort you as you get rid of sentimental items

    Host regular gatherings. One of the most effective ways to get your hoarding under control is by opening your home to guests more often. If you know that someone is due to visit every Sunday, you are less likely to let clutter get out of control.

    Find a specialist. Stopping hoarding on your own can be quite challenging. It can help to seek out the services of a professional who has experience helping people with your condition. Typically, hoarding is treated by educating families about the condition and by offering therapy to the individual or the family as a whole.

    Get support. Sharing your experiences with other people who hoard may help you feel less alone in this process. Plus, talking to other individuals and their families can help you learn different coping strategies for dealing with anxiety and various systems for controlling clutter. #Hoarding

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    Hoarding

    I need help with this disaster I've let go on for so long. I do try to tackle it on my own but get tired and overwhelmed. It's also a mix of embarrassment and fear that keep me from reaching out for help, professinally.

    Anyone have suggestions on maybe a group or a get together of people from individuals who have similar problems? Before I could get it done with a friend but I don't really have any that I'd feel safe or close enough to come inside my place.

    I always find it easier if I can find someone who truly understands and doesn't judge. Also helping someone else is always easier for me than myself, so that's why I was thinking of others that are in a similar situation.

    I feel like im mentally well enough to deal with this now and really want to keep moving forward. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. #Hoarding #BipolarDepression #Depression

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    Hi 👋🏽 I’m new to the OCD group!

    My name is Devin, I have just recently been diagnosed with OCD by my therapist. She came to my diagnosis by way of me sharing that I think I have a hoarding habit. It was surprising to me that OCD could lead to hoarding. However, after researching it more it made sense. So I’m hoping to find support in this group and also learn more from others who actually live with OCD and possibly who hoard. I hope I’m not alone 🙂. #OCD #Hoarding #Anxiety #Depression

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    The Kindest Therapist

    My current therapist is the best one I’ve ever had and has helped me clear up so much stuff. I’ve had other therapists but this guy has really helped me dig in and put a lot into the past.

    At least for me, he permits and encourages texting. One of my last but deeply rooted issues is hoarding disorder. He told me to text him when I spend some time on cleanup, and the weeks that I do take out trash I let him know how many bags I took out. He always responds that he’s pleased or sends me an emoji. I always tell him how much that helps. Sometimes my only motivation is knowing I’ll get a response if I do something.

    He is partly retiring, and he told me Monday that he is taking a five-week break first before he starts his reduced hours. He’s traveling out West.

    When I got home I texted him asking when the five weeks start and end so I know to not text him. He replied that he wants me to pretend that he is not away and to keep sending him texts when I accomplish something. He was very definite about it. He repeated that he wants to hear from me when I accomplish something and that he will respond when he can.

    I feel like the luckiest client alive.

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    My Joy is gone!

    Hi, I struggled everytime wanted to share what I’m going thru in my life journey now. My elder son is in his early 30’s, diagnosed with schizophrenia since he was 24. Taking care of him seems tough cos it affects my emotions every single day. He’s on oral treatment but the disorganization of his thoughts and strange beliefs that’s tormenting him never goes away. I’ve tried many ways to help him be it medical or spiritual, nothing works . He can’t work, stays home but feels lonely ,afraid to go out by himself bcos a voice keep him someone will kill him, sleeps all day , awakes at night , wants me to find him a wife to get married . I’m v tired and exhausted bcos I work 8 hrs a day sleeps only 4hrs everyday. He has ocd, hoarding habits, smokes a lot & loves to buy Lego and other figurines. I don’t know how to manage his moodswing , can’t talk him out of his strange beliefs. I’m v upset with myself for not able to help him . My husband is not helping much too but just pampers him as to please him but complains a lot at his back and blames me many times . My husband and I have different opinions as we aged, relationship is not working well now.
    Sorry for writing such long passage and thanks for listening to my grumbles.
    #SchizophreniaSpectrumPsychoticDisorders #MentalHealth #TheMighty #Depression

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    The Pandemic caused me to be a hoarder and a slob

    #Anxiety #Depression #LymeWarrior #TraumaticBrainInjury #traumatic grief

    My house looks like a slob lives here. I have paperwork all over in every room. Just looking at it hurts my brain. I try and clean it up or organize it but I end up just moving papers in a different spot.

    I get into bed at night with trash on my bed. I have to move it all just to make room for myself. I lay there praying to God and asking why? Why did all those people have to die. I cry myself to sleep praying to see my loved ones that were taken since the pandemic started.

    I had just gotten my life back after a 14 year battle with co-infections from Lyme disease. I finally was leaving my house, seeing my friends, shopping. I had 9 months of somewhat of a life back then I was forced back into my house. Then in 2020 I got bit again and im back fighting for my life again. New symptoms to deal with. I grieve the life I had before.

    What I lost besides loved ones was myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. My first grandson was born during the lock down. I was able to see him 6 feet away 3 days after he was born. It was like I was looking at someone else’s grandchild not mine. I was not aloud to hold him because I can’t get a flu shot. The last one almost killed me.
    I found out later everyone was holding him except me. This was so hurtful and my son allowed it to happen. It started to become to painful for me to even go to see him. What was the point if I had to watch from 6 feet away. I still do not feel any connection to my grandson and that is my son’s fault. He is 2 years old now. We aren’t aloud to babysit him or take him anywhere by ourselves but her parents are. I pray to God I’m still alive when and if another grandchild comes.
    Funny thing I was aloud to hold my friend’s grandchild with no problem. When I was able to hold my grandson I was in a hazemat suit he was 8 weeks old. No one else had to wear one except me. Now that’s personal. I had 5 friends become grandmothers and they posted it on Facebook no one was wearing a mask or a haze mat suit. I’m not even aloud to show pictures of him to my friends because he’s not old enough to consent to it.

    I had to go into therapy because of this behavior which was personal and not due to the virus. At least that is what I was told by my therapist. My heart is still broken and it’s still beating but for what. ?

    This is not the way it was supposed to be. This is not the life I wanted or imagined. I am just existing.

    I know hoarding crafts that I will never make, jewelry I will never make it has to stop. A lot of stuff I bought most is now expired. Did I throw them away? Nope.

    I could keep writing about all I have lost but everyone has lost. So there is no point I guess. I did lose my Mom to the virus watched her die over zoom for 9 weeks. Then I found my best friend, my brother dead in his apartment. I think he was murdered but I can’t prove it. Now I deal with a fractured sternum and PTSD from that.

    Hoarding is caused by lost, trauma, stressful life events, a brain dysfunction. I’m not putting anymore labels on myself. I just wish I could stop it. I wish I could afford someone to help me get organized as I no longer can do that. I can’t afford much of anything. I sell things to make money but it’s not enough. I’m too sick for a real 9-5 job. I do have a on line wholesale shopping club with weight loss products but that’s still not enough. I’m worrying myself to death literally.. I need extensive dental work due to lyme. I was scammed out of my savings for that. More loss. It effects me emotionally, physically, mentally.

    I’m just rambling now it’s late here and my brain is tired. Im actually getting tired of living because it’s just so damn hard. I’ll write some more later. Thanks for reading this post. Since 2019 I lost 27 friends and family. Isn’t that enough???
    #LymeWarrior #PTSD #LivingWithPOTS #PudendalNeuralgia #ChildhoodAbuse
    #BrainInjury
    #MemoryLoss

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    I can do this....I think....ummmm #ChronicDepression #ChronicPain #PTSD #Disabled #IfYouFeelHopeless #Anxiety

    New house I don't think I deserve. This coming from someone who grew up dumpster diving for food, living in the semi my dad drove who later fights the urge to hoard. My dad and me. As soon as we close on the house I want to spend the night by myself to adjust. I usually stay on my bed and don't leave the room due to triggers and anxiety . Going from this I want to go minimalist with my things. I don't know how my wheelchair is going to handle the carpet. I may just sit and spin but I'm hoping not. Nothing is going to be in the house,no power,water,or ac. No help if I need it. I'm excited and terrified but it's a new beginning to the next chapter of my survival. I say survival because that's simply more of what life is for me. I struggle every day with pain and that in turn pushes me towards a depression spiral. I haven't been by myself for over 2 decades. I've tried to be a good mother and a supportive wife. Now I have an empty nest and an irritated husband.(This is my journey though so he can just deal. ) I'm struggling with the hoarding so I thought I could get a feeling for the next step by basking in the nothing of an empty house. It'll give me time to find out what I can live without. If it's unused in the past 6 months it goes... unless it's brought me joy. Not much has except holding my granddaughter. Right now that's all hope because the in laws we're selling the house to got evicted and are living with us. The last time they lived with us both me and my husband tried to end our lives(at different times) so this may just be the beginning of the end one way or another. Stress and boundary issues and constantly being reminded of me being worthless (in such a way you can't say stop without proving them right) We haven't closed on the other house yet but the words "What kinda person do I want to be?And people change." Kept me from saying no they can't move in yet. So far so good after a month. As long as I hide as much as possible I can't get dragged into anything. Sometimes being a good person is risky but I won't change that about myself. I can take her losing it on me if it happens. What I can't take is staying here so as soon as we sign the contract I am running so it stays peaceful between everyone. I can't help it if my choices make anyone feel bad. I can only control how I feel, what I chose is going to be the best option for me.....and being by myself may be all I need. Is my husband going to like this, well no of course not, he's going to feel like I'm running from him no matter how much I tell him I'm not. He's just as much in low self-esteem as I am. But after the first night he can bring a sleeping bag if it helps him. If I don't do this I will never know if I can ever understand being a bit independent. I need that, just once because I have never been in my own place without kids or in laws living with me. One night. I can do that, right?

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    I finally did it !!

    I have been hoarding crafts and paint ever since getting sick with #Babesiosis #Bartonella #mycoplasma #LymeDisease #AutonomicDysfunction #TraumaticBrainInjury #CPTSD #scammed #ArtTherapy

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    My Cat Cheddar

    Cheddar is two years old and he has a big sister Maddie who came from a hoarding situation. Show me your pets!