I agree that it is more than being materialistic but I think it is deeply and in a very pure sense materialistic. And I specifically think that the fetishizing of material things is the outward sign of a deeper internal pathology.
Make more sense. I wasn't meaning to say that hoarding is a superficial problem. KWIM?
I've never seen the show but I think that yes, its very much a mental disorder and I can't say whether or not its on the rise or not as I really don't know. I do think that in general people feel much more out of control in this world ~ so yes, I think that in general disorders or addictions are on the rise as people strive to make sense out of this world or seek to control *something* and that in and of itself can lend itself towards addictive patterns or behaviors, whether that be an eating disorder, drug or alcohol abuse, hoarding, etc etc.
I tend to be the opposite of a hoarder. I loathe clutter and truly enjoy getting rid of things. My kids barely grow out of the clothes that they are in and I'm passing them along to friends. Just last night I passed along a box of baby clothes that my 3 YO had just grown out of. I feel much more in control of my environment when everything is super neat and there are no extraneous boxes or clutter or unused materials. I'm sure that is its own sort of disorder
There was a woman who was a hoarder that my Mom was friends with, she used to work in the children's ministry at the church I grew up in. She died in a fire in her home. They could not get to her due to the piles of things she had hoarded. They could hear her screaming but literally could not navigate the massive piles of things she had collected. So sad.
So...it may be rooted in a natural instinct the way most mental illness is, it springs from some facet of human nature but gets taken to an extreme due to disorder/illness.
But again, I only talk as someone who has seen a lot of these episodes 'cause it's my job, not as any kind of authority.
My in-laws are not hoarders, but their house is filled with ridiculous clutter. But I wouldn't call them hoarders and I think it's just because the task seems overwhelming, they don't even see the clutter for what it is anymore. When we were house-hunting, one place we looked at had random items piled up literally from floor to ceiling in the garage. You couldn't walk in. That is hoarding.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 7 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
I've watched Buried Alive before and I kind of see a couple different tendencies. The first is the ones I think are the true hoarders - the ones who impulsively and irrationally collect and never ever purge - the ones with newspapers stacked to the ceiling or books or clothes or other collectibles and whatnot. Then there are the ones whose houses are essentially garbage cans and nothing more. The rooms are stacked high with simply garbage - empty fast food containers, dirty dishes, cigarette butts all over the place, cat feces, human feces in a massive piles overflowing the toilet. I will never be convinced the latter is hoarding as classified as a mental disorder. The first? Yes.
I have an uncle diagnosed with OCD and as Bi-polar. He is a major hoarder. He keeps EVERYTHING. He ties memories to everything. An empty slupee cup is not trash, it is a memory to taking his grand son to 711 an having fun. People have gone into his house before and cleaned it all out, it was seriously traumatic for him. It is horrible health wise for him as well. At 57 years old he acts more like an 80 year old. The whole thing is very sad, and I believe anyone that has first hand knowledge of it knows it is a mental disease
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
I think that my MIL could easily swing into a full blown horder very easily. Her house is FULL, to the point that we wont let the kids stay there because it is impossible to clean making it hard on anyone with allergies and a fire hazard. It is not to the point though that the 'public rooms' are too bad. You can still function in the living, kitchen, bathroom, though they are cluttered. She does suffer from depression though and feels very isolated. She is still living with my FIL which is the only thing that I think keeps it from blowing up on her. She gets very stressed when he takes things out of the house though, but every once in awhile she will make a huge effort and fill a garbage bin, but she insists she has to do it by herself, and it takes her forever because she is terrified she might throw out something important by accident. She tells this story all the time about how she once through out her daughters earing that was in a bag of garbage on her bed, like it was the end of the world.....to which I say, why the heck was it in the garbage to begin with??
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Until I started watching Hoarders, I wasn't familiar with a lot of the tendencies, I often thought it was just a situation where they didn't throw things out and it got out of control and they needed help cleaning up. It's so beyond that. Some of the people I have seen have mental illnesses that are long term and have been known since maybe childhood and sometimes it's a reaction from a traumatic event. Many times, they have had a spouse die or a child die at young ages and it spurs this reaction. It's very sad.
Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)
I definitely agree that those extreme cases of hoarding are generally the result of mental illness. It's so sad, and hard to wrap my head around, the people who won't even let the crew throw out old, moldy food. However, I have seen some episodes where it seems more like a case of things getting out of control, and it just keeps building.
I do have to say - I sure feel a lot better about my house after watching an episode
Carolyn - 37
Wife to Chad - 39
Mom to Tom - 15
Nathan - 10