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Tragedy & Abuse Activated My Hoarding

I was surprised to find out that hoarding is a form of obsesive compulsive disorder. It also can be from traumatic events or abuse- Mine is from both. I used to have a perfectly clean and non cluttered house and even my clothes were arranged in rainbow color order. My son got brain damaged playing baseball as a kid & that sent me into a deep depression, while that was going on my ex was extremely abusive- he even killed some of my pets (my pets are like a part of my family to me). He was also a very cheap louse and wouldn't even give me a quarter to buy a newspaper- that's what started my hoarding- I was so sick of having nothing for so long that when I finally got divorced and had my own money I just started collecting & buying all the stuff I was never allowed to buy or have all those years. I do clean, my place is clean but very cluttery. I got rid of 40% of my stuff in the last year but I have a ways to go yet. I did get counseling & now I can get rid of it, but my body is not healthy enough to do too much any more. I'm in constant pain & I just had 3 surgeries in 2 weeks time. So- now that I WANT to get rid of most of it I can't :( I'm on Drs orders not to lift or bend for 3 weeks! I couldn't bring myself to tell her why that was so upsetting to me.
Frazzill Frazzill 46-50, F 1 Response Jul 6, 2012

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Yep, I learned that things like what happened to you can activate it- as it was explained to me- I place more of an emotional value on even trivial items. Being abused and deprived of things can alter your brain chemistry. You can get better though. It's a kind of coping mechanism. I had no control in my marriage- i was controlled by a mean scrooge abuser- so, once I was free, I went out of control collecting all the things he would never let me buy. I also suffered alot when i didn't have the things I needed at the time, so, part of it is I didn't want to be without anymore. Good thing is, NOW at least those less fortunate can benefit from my donations.

Sorry to hear about what you are going through. That's kind of weird, I never knew that hoarding things was a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. My husband always complains about me hoarding papers.. Anything with papers, especially bills, newspaper, magazines, school work, etc.

I keep too many " papers ", too. Receipts, stuff like that. It sure collects ! I should say, "I COLLECT" The papers don't collect themselves.