Hoarding is another modern-day disease. Its quick development can be related to consumerism. A great number of coupons and discount options available can tempt all the affected groups into buying everything they can possibly fit in their houses. The stages of hoarding can be different but once it matures it can cause various issues including several health problems.
As a result of hoarding, great piles of things gathered within one’s home can cause various safety hazards. They can limit movement through a house where they are kept and cause their owner to trip over. Also, depending on the size of a pile, objects can fall on a person passing by and hit them. Both of these could, in theory, cause an avalanche and have the person stuck in a huge pile of things, or at least cause them cuts and bruises. Apart from physical injuries caused by a fall or a hit, they can be a real fire hazard as I imagine most things included in the piles are inflammable and they are blocking the fire routes and fire exists as much as they are blocking the rest of the living space.
Living in unsanitary conditions can cause issues with respiratory organs. Airborne bacteria, fungi, mold, and dust are all working hard to lower their host’s ability to breathe normally. It is hard to keep these under control when you haven’t cleaned or even seen certain parts of your house in months. As the body is defending itself, it can cause mild cold-like symptoms until it becomes something more serious. Also, chances of any otherwise insignificant wounds or scratches getting infected are enormous.
Heaven for rodents
There are creatures who truly enjoy these living conditions, those are rodents and insects. With so many places to hide, nest and lay eggs, a hoarder’s home are, without a doubt, their place to be. The chances are that there are stocks of items of food which will be particularly convenient for them. The piles of things will not allow you to place traps, try to catch or poison the pests. They are spreading very quickly so your best chance of destroying them is by catching them early. Pests, particularly, rodents can carry bacteria and viruses and neither of those will be kind on your body.
Mental health issues
Hoarding is commonly caused by fears or mental-health issues. However, as a result, hoarding can further damage a person’s psyche. Hoarders are often misunderstood by their friends and family and perceived as disgusting even by strangers who get a chance to have a peek into their yard. They can easily become social outcasts as their closed ones will, after a while, probably choose to stop visiting and they certainly won’t be able to make new friends. This can lead to loneliness and depression, which combined with other issues can cause serious damage.
How to help a hoarder
If there is a hoarder in your life, you need to take them seriously. Do not think of their issue as a character flaw but understands it as a defense mechanism or an illness. The easiest way of getting them to start helping themselves is to get rid of the things which are an immediate danger. The next step would be to determine the underlying issue and help them resolve it. However, the process is usually different. You need to tackle the issue first to help the person slowly understand that the things do not matter. Perhaps you could start by helping them organize the things into Boomerang Boxes for moving as they are durable and can be stored away without fear of any damage. Perhaps you can rent a storage unit to keep the boxes in there until they decide to get rid of them. If on the other hand, you do not feel confident enough in doing this yourself, you really should not. There are professionals to take care of both, the clearing out, sanitation and pest as well as their health issues.
We have all witnessed cases of mild hoarding. Most of us have hoarded or are hoarding right now. Those messy shelves holding old bills and store receipts probably need some attention. We are wondering why they are there in the first place and why we did not dispose of them immediately? We kept them just in case, thinking we may need them one day, we were not able to decide between an important piece of paper and a paper proving I bought a pair of shoes in a local store. Think about these things before judging.
Remember, people are often sick without even realizing it. If you care about someone, please do not dismiss them quickly but give them a chance to show you that they, in fact, do need your assistance. Not every mental-health issue is expressed by shouting, talking to yourself or radical behavior. Recognize that their behavior is irrational and help them realize that.
Author: Leila Dorari