Friday, July 29, 2011

What gets buried: the impact of compulsive hoarding on children

Television programs like A&E’s "Hoarders" and Discovery Channel's "Hoarding: Buried Alive" have thrown the reality of hoarding into sharp relief.

The mental illness is thought to be related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and makes it difficult for a person to determine what's valuable and what isn't. Hoarding affects entire families, forcing the children of hoarders to keep secrets about their parent's debilitating compulsion. Many children also fear becoming hoarders themselves.

Holly Sabiston grew up with a mother who compulsively shopped and hoarded so much that the family had to take out three mortgages on their 3000 sq. ft. home in Kansas City. Sabiston told Here & Now's Monica Brady-Myerov that her mother was terrified of others learning about her illness. On the rare occasion that friends or family were invited to Sabiston's childhood home, the family had to shift and hide the overwhelming piles of possesions behind closed doors--a process experts call "churning."

"It was definitely a secret," she said, "There were only a few friends who got to see the inside of the house."..." More

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not fun having a hoarder in your family and being the child of one is terrible! Your childhood is surrounded in lies and excuses. You have no friends, you don't get to enjoy things like sleepovers or even normal dating. Life is NOTHING like what you see on TV or imagine what other kids live. You can't even imagine Santa coming to visit.....I wouldn't wish that childhood on anyone.