Weird Compulsive Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding is a weird behavior that generate human being or animals to gather and collect food and hide or other items during periods of insufficiency or shortness of supply. Compulsive hoarding or pathological collecting (sometimes called packratting) is a behavior described as the excessive acquisition and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the home living areas causing distress or impairment. Compulsive hoarding behavior has been linked with health risks, impairment mentally and emotionally,social functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on family members and friends. When clinically to have influence or effect enough to impair functioning, weird compulsive hoarding disorder, can prevent typical uses of space so as to limit activities such in kitchen as cooking, home cleaning, moving through the house, and bedroom for sleeping. Excessive hoarding can be dangerous and put the individual, family and neighborhood at risk from fire, falling, poor sanitation, and other health concerns.  “Hoarding is not yet considered an official, distinct disorder,” according to Mayo Clinic and people with compulsive hoarding disorder who hoard do not have or other obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-related symptoms. Researchers are still doing researches and study about compulsive hoarding, and still not clear whether “compulsive” hoarding is an isolated disorder or a separate case may be, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as OCD. The number of cases of a specific disease rates have been estimated in adults at 2 to 5%, and is greater in older adults than in younger groups, in men versus women, and is opposite in effect of nature or order related to household income. Most people affected with compulsive hoarding is more common in people with psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other factors are associated often with compulsive hoarding are those people who are alcohol dependence as well as paranoid, schizotypal, and Avoidant personality disorder (AvPD), also called as anxious personality disorder traits. The most worst forms that a person with compulsive hoarding disorder can cause fires, unsanitary conditions (example: rat and roach infestations), injuries from tripping on clutter, and other health and safety hazards. Syllogomania is defined also as compulsive hoarding disorder as the hoarding of pure trash or garbage.

Hoarding in living room

Hoarding in living room

hoarding in kitchen courtesy of Buried Alive (image credit mutantsupermodel.com)

hoarding in kitchen courtesy of Buried Alive (image credit mutantsupermodel.com)

A few symptoms hoarders might experience are:

Junk mail collection

Junk mail collection

1) Hoarders tend to hold or keep onto a large number of items that for some people would consider no longer useful or valuable; some examples are, junk mails (advertising mails or direct mails or admail (delivery of advertising materials to recipients vis postal mail), old newspapers and catalogues, or material things that might be useful for making crafts Also clothes that could be worn only once, broken things or trash, freebies or promotional merchandise, products, advertising gifts, sometimes called swag or schwag, are merchandise articles (commonly branded with a logo) used in marketing and communication programs, which are given away to promote a corporate image, brand, event or company) picked up.

paper clutter in the work room  (image credit: healing.about.com)

paper clutter in the work room (image credit: healing.about.com)

2.) Most of cluttered home that many parts are inaccessible and can no longer be used for residential purpose, example, beds that cannot be slept in, kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation, refrigerators filled to the edge of a hollow container with rotting food, stove-tops with capable of catching fire and burning such as junk mail, old books and newspapers as well as rotten or spoiled food piled on top of burners. Dinning tables that cannot be used for dining, chairs or sofas that cannot be used for seating, filthy unsanitary bathrooms, collected piles of human or animal pet’s feces collected in areas such as floors of the home, numerous garbage bags of dirty diapers hoarded for many years., Tubs, showers, and sinks filled with trash, not usable items that they can not be used for washing or bathing. Hoarders would possibly to abstain or refrain from bathing. Some person with compulsive hoarding hoard animals they cannot even do not care for, and most often dead pets cannibalized by other pets because of severe hunger, are found under the a piled of trash or garbage.

animal hoarding  (image credit:www.steri-clean.com)

animal hoarding (image credit:www.steri-clean.com)

3.) The mess or clutter inside the house or areas is so bad it causes illness, distress, and impairment. For instance, hoarders do not allow visitors, commonly their own, relatives and friends, or even for repair man and maintenance professionals because the of piled clutter embarrasses them. Keeping the window’s shades drawn down so no one can see inside. Usually get into many arguments with family members about the clutter and collected trash that are at risk of fire, falling, infestation from pests or eviction, feeling very depressed or very anxious much of the time because of the clutter they gather and collected.

Clutter in basement

Clutter in basement

The compulsive hoarding disorder sometimes is considered as DSM-IV, or the DSM-V, now DSM5 currently proposed diagnostic criteria for hoarding disorder are, refusing to give up or let go difficulty discarding or parting with their “valuable possessions”, regardless of their actual value. This difficulty is due to strong urges to save items and distress associated with discarding, thus this symptoms, commonly result in the accumulation of a large number of possessions that can fill up and clutter of the home active living areas or workplace to the extent that their home areas is no longer in use. The compulsive hoarding disorder symptoms causes easily noticed clinically distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other functioning areas that includes maintaining a safe environment for self and other people around them. The hoarding symptoms are not because of the medical condition such as brain injury, cerebro-vascular disease, and are not kept within certain limits the symptoms of another mental disorder, such as hoarding due to obsessions in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Major Depressive Disorder decreased energy, Schizophrenia delusions or another Psychotic Disorder, Dementia cognitive deficits, restricted interests in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Prader-Willi syndrome’s food storing.

Prader Willi Syndrome  Facial Features

Prader Willi Syndrome Facial Features

Prader–Willi syndrome abbreviated (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder in which seven genes or a deleted portion of a set on chromosome 15 (q11-13) or unexpressed on paternal chromosome 15q deleted partially.  Prader-Willi Syndrome patients exhibits appearance in facial characteristic with narrow temples, face is commonly elongated, thin upper lip, and noticeable nose. Early diagnosis’ benefits on PWS and ongoing act or fact of interfering so as to modify the disease, among Prader-Willi syndrome children’s rate in obesity has decreased, and other treatments and therapy for behavioral , can reduced the effects of the syndrome. PWS has the sister syndrome The Angelman syndrome or the old term known as AS, happy feet syndrome, or a person wit AS are sometimes called as angels is the sister syndrome of Prader-Willi syndrome, because of the name of the syndrome exhibits as youthful and happy appearance in which the genetic material is maternal derived affecting in the same genetic region.

Collyer brothers, Notable for Compulsive-Hoarding disorder

Homer Collyer, in1939, arguments with police officers

Homer Collyer, in1939, arguments with police officers

Langley Collier in 1946, with his attorney

Langley Collier in 1946, with his attorney

Collyer's home with  hoardings

Collyer’s home with hoardings

Homer Lusk Collyer was born on November 6, 1881 and died on March 1947 and younger brother, Langley Wakeman Collyer born on October 3, 1885 and died on March 1947, known as the Collyer brothers, were two American brothers who became famous because of their weird and bizarre characters, both bachelors and have no children, and compulsive hoarding disorder and eccentric called kookiness or quirkiness referring to odd or unusual behavior. For decades, Rumors according to neighborhood spread around for decades, that the two men were rarely seen in their home at 2078 Fifth Ave. corner of 128th street in Manhattan, where the brothers are obsessed collecting books, musical instruments, furniture, and various “trash” and set booby traps along the corridors and doorway to entrap intruders who wants to sneak in their properties. The Collyer brothers were both found dead in their Harlem brownstone home, surrounded by over 140 tons of collected items that they had accumulated over several decades. Their father, Herman Livingston Collyer (born 1857– died in 1923), a Manhattan gynecologist at Bellevue Hospital, and mother a former opera singer, Susie Gage Frost (1856–1929). Their parents were actually first cousins.  After their father left them, Homer and Langley Collyer stayed in the family house. The Collyer brothers inherited all the family’s possessions and moved them into their house in Harlem after their parents death.  Neighborhood tried to break into the house because of no facts rumors of valuables, then children and teenagers made the habit of throwing stones at the Collyer’s home windows, taht made the Collyer brothers scared and increased their odd and weird behavior. Their electricity, telephone services, water and gas was turned off when they failed to pay their bills in 1928. Langley, the younger brother, buy some bread, collect food from garbage bin or collect food thrown by butchers and groceries, would walk miles all over the city, to bring food to older brother Homer, who was handicapped with rheumatism, and became blind because of the hemorrhage at the back of his eyes in 1933 . Langley, aside from collecting food, he always dragged various pieces of abandoned junk that excite his interest and become their obsession. An unknown call from a concern citizen phoned the 122nd Police Precinct and insisted there was a dead body in the house on March 21, 1947. Immediately,a patrol officer was dispatched,however authorities had difficult time getting inside the house but, noted the awful odor coming from the house. Seven men from an emergency squad had no choice, and started pulling out all the junk, clutters that was blocking their way and throw it out onto the street below. William Barker, a patrolman, finally broke in through a window into a second-story bedroom, and behind this window, more clutters of newspaper bundles, boxes, and thousands of trash, and he found Homer Collyer was found dead, wearing just a tattered blue-and-white bathrobe, after two-hour crawl by the police officer. Homer’s entangled in a thick mass, grey hair reached down to his shoulders, with his head resting on his knees. According to  Dr. Arthur C. Allen, Assistant Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of Homer Collyer and stated that Homer, had been dead for no more than ten hours, and maybe, Homer could not be the only source of the stench coming from the house but also from the hoarded garbage. The first conclusion on cause of death is a  foul play, but was confirmed that Homer had died from dehydration, malnutrition and cardiac arrest, but Langley was nowhere to be found. Artie Matthews, a workman, found the partially decomposed body of Langley Collyer, eaten by rats,  which was covered by bundles of newspapers and a suitcase ,on April 8, 1947, just ten feet from where Homer had died. According to an investigation results, Langley had been crawling through bundles of newspaper tunnel to bring food to his paralyzed brother, and unfortunately, one of his own booby traps fell down and crushed him. While, Homer, who was blind and paralyzed, starved to death after a few days. The stench detected was confirmed coming from Langley‘s decomposing body.  The Collyer’s brother was buried at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn with their parents. Police authorities and workmen removed garbage about 130 tons, from the Collyer brownstone, and items was put in auction less than $2,000, Collyer brother’s cumulative estate was valued at $91,000 (about $1,071,346 as of 2013 of which $20,000 worth was personal property (jewelry, cash, securities, and the like). the brothers were lifelong bachelors and childless. The area where Homer’s body was found, authorities found 34 passbook bank accounts with total of $3,007.18 which is about a total of $35,402 at this time of 2013.  The term Collyer’s Mansion, or Collyer Mansion or simply Collyer, is a modern term among firefighters for dwelling of hoarders filled with trash and debris and becoming a serious danger to the occupants, neighborhood and emergency responders.

Food Hoarding or Larder Hoarding

Food Hoarding (image credit:balanceoffood.typepad.com)

Food Hoarding (image credit:balanceoffood.typepad.com)

Hoarding of Food, also called larder hoarding, is about the compulsive hoarding mental disability that and how obsessively hoarding items including food, oftentimes ‘spoiled foods’ which is hazardous to one’s health. Larder hoarding, or food hoarding, is mainly contributed to the fear of losing everything. The vast quantity of the items in these scenarios which remained untouched and unused. These food hoarders do not even care about the validity of the food’s expiration until these hoarded foods becomes spoiled and acquire maggots or any kind of insects.

Book hoarding

book hoarding  (image credit:www.1800hoarders.com)

book hoarding (image credit:www.1800hoarders.com)

A mental disorder that involves collecting or hoarding of books is known as Biblomania, where social functioning or health are damaged. Psychological disorders which are commonly related with obsession in books like bibliophagy, bibliokleptomania and bibliomania is described as book collector’s obsession in collecting books, which actually have no use, or even read the books or the great value of the books they collected until the pile of books becomes large in quantity. Purchasing multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond capacity of use or simply a pleasure for the book collector are frequently symptoms of bibliomania.

Stephen Carrie Blumberg

Stephen Carrie Blumberg, biblomaniac or book hoarder (image credit:203.241.185.12)

Stephen Carrie Blumberg, biblomaniac or book hoarder (image credit:203.241.185.12)

Stephen Carrie Blumberg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, but lived most of his life in Ottumwa, Iowa, known as a bibliomane, and had been arrested many times in 1990’s for stealing more than 23, 600 books amounting to USD$5.3 million, and was nicknamed Book Bandit and recognized in United States history as most successful thief of books. Stephen Blumberg source of living is on annual family trust fund about $72,000. Blumberg’s obsession of collecting books developed during his childhood when he run down on St. Paul’s Victorian homes on his way to school, and started to removed door knobs and window’s stained glass from the old houses, and filled with collected thousands of books he had collected for years. Dr. Wiliam S. Logan, revealed that Stephen had undergone psychiatric treatment for schizophrenic delusions and tendencies during the 1991 trial. During his adolescence Blumberg was hospitalized several times where twelve psychiatrists diagnosed him as schizophrenic, delusional, paranoid and compulsive, and Dr. Logan, also revealed that the Blumberg family had a psychiatric illness history. Blumberg was convicted again of burglary of antiques in 1997, and was arrested again in July 2003 for burglary of a house in Keokuk, Iowa in July 2003. Blumberg was convicted in early 2004, and was again, arrested for burglary in June 2004 in Knoxville,Illinois, violating his probation for his conviction in early 2004.  2004.

Animal hoarding

 

Animal hoarder's house full of animal feces (image credit: www.spauldingdecon.com)

Animal hoarder’s house full of animal feces (image credit: www.spauldingdecon.com)

hoarding rabbits inside home (image credit: de.wikipedia.org)

hoarding rabbits inside home (image credit: de.wikipedia.org)

Animal hoarding is keeping a large number of animals as pets without having the ability to proper care for the animals but denying this kind of inability to take care the pets. This mental disorder symptoms is characterized as compulsive hoarding rather than considered as cruelty to animals. Animal hoarders are deeply involved to their “pets” and find difficulties to give them away. These animal hoarders, commonly the think that they are not doing harm and taking care of their pets properly. Other compulsive hoarding behaviors is linked in the DSM-IV to obsessive compulsive personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, thus, animal hoarding can also be associated as dementia, addiction and focal delusion or delusion disorder, which causes risks to health for the people involved, and failure to correct the deteriorating sanitary conditions of their living areas, and for those living in and around hoarding residences Animal hoarding is the root of a series of human health problems and various zoonotic diseases because of poor sanitation, fire hazards, toxic inhalation and neglect personal hygiene likewise to their family. Commonly, animal hoarders display symptoms of delusional disorder, having their belief out of touch with reality system, and attachment disorder, which maybe started during their childhood such as poor parent-child relationships, resulting from attachment disorder, resulting to obsession and possessions like in animals, filling the needs of their pets and relationships with animals they collected.

Hoarding or caching in Animal Behavior

Western Scrub Jays store peanuts in a cache for later retrieval. In the wild, these birds store acorns and insects.

Western Scrub Jays store peanuts in a cache for later retrieval. In the wild, these birds store acorns and insects.

 

Hoarding or caching in animal behavior is the food storage in areas hidden from the sight of both animals of similar or closely related species  (conspecifics) and other species members. The hoarding term is most usually used for rodents, whereas in reference to birds, caching is more commonly used, but the behaviors is quite similar in both animal groups. On a seasonal cycle, hoarding is done either on a long-term basis, with food to be consumed months down the line or food consumption is only for several days, on a short term basis. Some rodents such as squirrels and hamsters, are some of the common animals that cache their food, and different bird species, such as woodpeckers, rooks and Western Scrub Jay, which is noted for its particular skill at caching. larder-hoarding, where a species creates a few large caches which it often defends, and scatter-hoarding, where a species will create multiple caches, often with each individual food item stored in a unique place are the two types of caching behavior.

Scatter hoarding

Eastern Gray Squirrel eating peanut

Eastern Gray Squirrel eating peanut

squirrels hoarding food and bury (image credit:scienceblogs.com)

squirrels hoarding food and bury (image credit:scienceblogs.com)

Scatter hoarding is the collection and formations of a large number of small hoards. Many squirrel species, such as fox squirrel, eastern gray squirrel, are best noted for scatter hoarding. although this behavior plays an important part in seed dispersal,as those seeds that are left uneaten will have a chance to develop, thus enabling plants to spread their population. Many animals are scatter hoarders, examples of these animals are the wood mouse, chipmunks and the squirrels. The primary technique used by scatter hoarders to protect the foods they kept from being stolen is called Cache spacing. Hoarders discourage competitors who happen upon a place for keeping food or storage room from conducting in restricted area, searching for more of the supply, by spreading food supply around.

Hoarding Toys

hoarding the children's bedroom (image credit:www.clutterstop.com)

hoarding the children’s bedroom (image credit:www.clutterstop.com)

hoarding toys  (image credit: nottheitgirls.com)

hoarding toys (image credit: nottheitgirls.com)

stuff toys hoarding, decluterring (image credit: www.hometalk.com)

stuff toys hoarding, decluterring (image credit: www.hometalk.com)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a usual implemented therapeutic resource for compulsive hoarding addiction. The therapist may help the patient with cognitive behavior therapy, as to be aware why he or she is forced or drive to hoard clutters, and learn to organize their “best possessions” and decide what to throw away.  Declutter or household decluttering, is to move or organized the mess, putting the items in their proper places, which oftentimes use terms as “cleaning up your mess”, were objects can be donated or given away to friends, charitable institutions or organization, sold as second hand, recycled or thrown away. Person with CBT, are usually visited by therapist in their home or any professional organizer and attending family as a group therapy.

Recycle as Hoarders

 

recycling of crashed steels

recycling of crashed steels

Recycling of Glass and plastic

Collecting and Recycling of Glass and plastic

Recycling garbage

collecting garbage for Recycling purposes

The process to change waste materials into new products is called Recycling  preventing potential useful material wastes, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce usage of energy, reduce air pollution from incineration and pollution in water from landfills by reducing the need for numerical values (like constants, quantities, or scales of measurement) waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas (is one of several gases that can absorb and emit long-wave infrared, radiation in a planetary atmosphere) emissions as compared to plastic production. Recyclable materials includes glass, paper, metal, plastic, electronics and textiles. The composting has similar effects or reusing of foods or garden waste as biodegradable waste is not considered recycling of a material that would produce a fresh supply of the same material, one example are office used paper material would be converted into new office paper, or used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. According to some studies, recycling is often difficult or very expensive comparing to producing from a raw materials of the same product or from other sources, thus, in recycling of many products or reuse materials in producing different materials, such as, paperboard.    Salvage of materials form complex products is another form of recycling, either due to property that is not essential or inherent their value like lead from car batteries or gold from a computer components, or due to their hazardous nature, for example, reused of mercury removed from various items.

Hoarding Economics

hoarding rice in the Philippines is a crime (image credit:www.infiniteunknown.net)

hoarding rice in the Philippines is a crime (image credit:www.infiniteunknown.net)

hoarding sugar  (image credit:www.defence.pk)

hoarding sugar (image credit:www.defence.pk)

In terms of economic, hoarding is the practice of obtaining and holding or keeping insufficient to satisfy the need or demand of resources, possibly so that they can be sold to consumers on a higher price for profit. In economically term, hoarding exist due to individuals obtaining and holding assets thought to be undervalued and reserves to profit or save money later. Price gouging is an abuse term referring in which a seller prices commodities or goods in much higher prices from previous purchased goods. Most often, after natural disasters, such as hurricane, earthquake, volcano eruptions, massive flooding, landslides, tornado and other calamities, rapid increase in commodity prices happened after shortage on demands of supplies, thus some consumers go on panic buying and hoard foods and other supplies for the coming disaster. In definition and legal term, economic hoarding, in civil emergencies in some other states in the United States it is considered a crime, likewise in other parts of Asian Country.

Hoarding: Buried Alive

Hoarding Buried Alive  (image credit:fifthseasongardening.com)

Hoarding Buried Alive (image credit:fifthseasongardening.com)

TLC: Hoarding: Buried Alive, kitchen area (image credit: tlc.howstuffworks.com)

TLC: Hoarding: Buried Alive, kitchen area (image credit: tlc.howstuffworks.com)

At first, when I happened to view this  Hoarding: Buried Alive, I just though it was an scripted reality show, and made my research if is there any kind of syndrome or mental disorder of an individual that can be “addicted” of collecting and keeping “trash”. And I was shocked learning that indeed a kind of disorder exists. Hoarding: Buried Alive is an American documentary TV series shown on TLC channel and premiered on March 14, 2010. This documentary TV series, follows hoarders suffering the compulsive hoarding disorder all their life, and helps them how to learn to manage their illness, and help them declutter their homes. And each hoarder featured receives treatment provided by a therapist and a professional organizer, who help them through the “get rid of the hoards process”. The hoarders have shown signs of improvement, giving hope to the viewers and other people with compulsive hoarding disorder for the success of treatment. In September, 2012, During filming for the Hoarding: Buried Alive show, a woman helping with the cleanup of a Houston, Texas home was rushed to the hospital, after contracting a respiratory illness. The woman’s initial tests indicated that she had contracted Hantavirus, a negative sense RNA virus in the Bunyaviridae family. The Hantavirus can infect humans through direct contact from urine, saliva and waste products from rodents. In some Hantavirus cases, this can cause fatal disease in humans, such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome(HPS), hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome(HFRS) but other hantaviruses have not been linked with know diseases. The home featured in this show was quarantined, and all those other individuals involved in the cleanup were tested for the disease, and all the books gathered from the house are donated to the local library, but kept in an isolated areas and not distributed for reading. The volunteer, undergo some more tests and was confirmed that she is not ill for Hantavirus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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