CCD: Compulsive Clutter Disorder August 2, 2010Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More.
To find previous posts, search “clutter.”
Now let’s talk about a few of the very real risks of refusing to deal with extreme clutter:
Illness, Injury, and Death.
Hoarding behavior is on the rise ~ a growing public health problem which results when people collect mountains of possessions and refuse to whittle down the piles. In extreme cases, hoarding leads to fires, attracts vermin, and results in health risks to occupants of crowded living spaces.
Although classified as an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, psychiatrists have yet to determine if hoarding results from a compulsion or an addiction.
For that reason, psychiatrists may soon characterize hoarding as its own disorder, with symptoms of: persistent difficulty discarding possessions, strong urges to save items, and the excessive accumulation of possessions.
Whatever its cause and characteristics, excessive clutter can kill:
They couldn’t get through the doorway because her home was filled almost to the ceiling with cardboard boxes, furniture, clothing and other junk. She and her daughter had been crawling through tunnels to move around the Skokie, Illinois, house.
* One of the most famous cases dates back to the Collyer brothers of New York City.
In 1947, Langley Collyer was killed by one of the booby traps he had devised in his Harlem apartment to protect nearly 130 tons of junk. His older brother, Homer Collyer, who was blind and crippled by arthritis, starved to death in the apartment about 10 feet away, according to news reports.
Newspapers strewn throughout her house fueled the flames, and firefighters weren’t able to reach her because of the clutter, said Felix Cabrera, a resources and external relations specialist at the Adult Protective Services in El Paso.
Due to its increasing prevalence, several cable networks now air shows centered around hoarding behavior and its dangers:
* TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive
* A&E’s Hoarders
* Animal Planet’s Confessions: Animal Hoarding
As demonstrated, hoarders attach excessive significance to objects and become unable to throw things away. Over time, they lose the ability to separate trash from treasure, viewing all objects as meaningful.
If we are consumed with possessions, those possessions may consume us.
For more information: Hoarding Called A Public Health Issue (AARP)
For tips on Decluttering: Declutter 101
Related posts: Simplify Your Life * Give Your Stuff Away Day * Between The Wish & The Thing * You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things (Raptitude) * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter