While channel surfing on Labor Day, I came across an interesting show that I couldn’t pass up. Hoarders is a real life drama of people with the mental illness of not being able to give up their things. Whether it is garbage, broken items, personal belongings or things that don’t fit; these people have a compulsive need to save EVERYTHING.
The season 3 premiere of Hoarders showed the life of Adella, a widowed mother of two older children whom has previously lost a home, her children and her marriage to her belongings is faced with losing another house that is in her daughter’s name because she can’t let go. While the family and a team of professional cleaners helps her to clean her home out of all the accumulated possessions, garbage, and cockroaches, Adella is constantly seen digging her things back out of the trash.
The other family in the show is Teri and Kerry and their two children. Upon entering the home, the therapist is compelled to call Child Protective Services due to the completely unsanitary conditions of the home. They have mountains of indistinguishable stuff piled so high that opening doors literally could mean a garbage avalanche. Threatening his wife with divorce, Kerry is tired of living in the unsanitary conditions that has lead their family to being forced to use the truck stop bathrooms for the past two years. With CPS coming to take the children, this family has five days to clean up their home or lose it and the children.
Although I am not a big television watcher, I could not change the channel when I saw this show. I have always thought that my grandma was a hoarder– keeping the wood paneling from the house remodel ten years ago– but she is nothing like the people on this show. Upon further research into hoarding, I found that it is a neurological condition where people will compulsively collect and keep things no matter how worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. Hoarding is part of the obsessive compulsive disorder family, meaning that it is a mental disorder that, although recognized, is not something that anyone knows a reason for. This is a very debilitating disease for those that have it as it is literally painful to throw out things, even the trash.