Thursday, November 12, 2009

A hoarder's home reborn

A Louisville woman who describes her home as a dump says she's been too embarrassed to let anyone inside for years. She's a hoarder, but she let Fox 41 cameras inside because she's finally ready to dig herself out.

This is a job she can't handle alone. The woman we'll call Sue is so embarrassed about the way she's been living for years, she did not want to be identified.

Like the homes of most hoarders, it's a chore just to walk through it. There's stuff covering nearly every square inch of space. "It's totally humiliating," she says. "I am an educated professional who lives in a dump."

Hoarding is tough to treat. Experts say hoarders collect things and have trouble parting with them because they have emotional ties to the objects. Sue grew up poor and says her problem started with shopping to fill voids in her life. "If I see it, I like it, I want it, I buy it...I know a lot of it stems from not having a lot as a child and a lot of it stems from wanting to feel better for the moment, but then it got into this major problem."

A team of professional organizers will tackle it, and a therapist offers some advice and encouragment. Dr. Jeffrey Romer tells Sue, "Your willingness to want to organize things is the big step. The big part is you have to have say over the things they're taking away, otherwise it's being violated."..." More & video