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Hoarding: the effect it has on the family

KETK
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Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 7:55pm

Carie Tidmore just lost her mom, and now she is left picking up the pieces.

But, she is facing a struggle much harder than usual.

"Because she had such an obsession with keeping the things that she had," Tidmore said.

Her mom was a hoarder, something she kept mostly to herself.

"I had no idea," Tidmore said. "This has been a family secret, that she was such a hoarder and how bad her home looked."
 

For people who hoard items, it is often items that we would find insignificant. Items like an old pill bottle or an old bill, but to them these items keep them company and it is a sense of comfort for them to keep the items.

"With hoarding, the things that people keep are really of no value," said Psychologist Dr. Wade French.

But hoarders always have their own reason for wanting to keep certain items.

"When you start talking about throwing their stuff away they get really anxious and it's like you're taking something very valuable away from them," Dr. Wade said.

It typically starts small and escalates.

"You got stuff stacked up to here, the foundation of the home sinks in," Dr. Wade said. They cannot bring themselves to discard anything."

And usually people develop this disease because they are alone.

"Most hoarders live by themselves," Dr. Wade said. They would rather be surrounded by stuff then all alone. "It seems in some way to give them some comfort."

But the hoarding just distances them even further from their families.

"She regretted so much the time she lost with her grandchildren and with her family," Tidmore said.

Tidmore talks from experience when she says to take your loved one to therapy and stop the problem before it escalates.

"Just be forgiving and loving to that person," Tidmore said. "Because it's a disease."

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