LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In 4 Years!” What Is Compulsive Hoarding, And Why Some People Are Afraid Of Cleaning

Date November 15, 2018

It's likely that nobody is excited about weekly cleaning. It brings hardly any positive emotions. However, where some people just don’t enjoy this tedious task, others suffer from compulsive hoarding – a mental disorder that causes severe inconveniences in people’s everyday lives.

“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In 4 Years!” What Is Compulsive Hoarding, And Why Some People Are Afraid Of CleaningStephane Bidouze / Shutterstock.com

This obsessive compulsive behavior consists of storing and collecting old clothes, household items, and other items.

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Many of us feel sorry to throw away the things that we have associated so many memories with or that may be useful in the future (of course, they hardly will): jeans that you promised to wear as soon as you lose weight, broken kitchen utensils, or even useless shoes. Did you know that some people never throw away such things and store all their trash to the point that it even causes difficulty to move around the house?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Compulsive hoarding often affects older people. At the same time, their relatives and friends can’t always understand that a person is really sick and requires help.

How to recognize compulsive hoarding

A person who suffers from this disorder may have the following symptoms:

  • problems with personal hygiene;
  • painfully thrift and stinginess;
  • isolation;
  • unwillingness to throw away old broken things;
  • neglected appearance;
  • unwillingness to clean at home;
  • bad temper, irritability, and aggression, especially in situations where relatives try to help clean up.

"I haven’t seen the floor in 4 years"

In November 2016, Sally-Ann Howells from Tivadale (UK) contacted the company that provides house-cleaning services. The reason for that was the repeated complaints from the woman’s neighbors about the acrid smell coming from her apartment.

“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In 4 Years!” What Is Compulsive Hoarding, And Why Some People Are Afraid Of CleaningBarcroft TV / YouTube

When the workers entered Sally-Ann’s flat, they were shocked. Her one-bedroom apartment was littered with bags filled with rubbish, cat litter, bottles with urine, feces, and other waste that the Brit had been saving for 4 years. These mountains of trash reached up to 5 feet!

READ ALSO: 10 Everyday Household Items That Have An Expiration Date

Howells’ ceiling was shrouded in a thick layer of cobwebs; shelves were overloaded with books corroded by insects.

“I Haven’t Seen The Floor In 4 Years!” What Is Compulsive Hoarding, And Why Some People Are Afraid Of CleaningBarcroft TV / YouTube

How to help a compulsive hoarder

Unfortunately, until the person decides to change his or her life themselves, doctors are unlikely to help. However, psychologists’ help and relatives’ care show a great positive effect in dealing with the disorder. In some cases, treatment therapy is accompanied by antidepressants, vitamin complexes, and other drugs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the case of a compulsive disorder, it is important not to let the condition advance. The patient won’t be able to cope with the problem without help from relatives and medical professionals. One of the most effective ways of dealing with the syndrome is coming up with a new hobby to distract the person from the mania.

Have you ever met any people with a compulsive disorder? Did you try to help them? Share your experience in the comments.

READ ALSO: Woman Lives In A Home Cluttered With Piles Of Random Things And Trash. Why Is She Living Like That?


The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.