By STEVE METSCH
People who hoard things have a compulsion not unlike those addicted to alcohol or drugs, experts said Wednesday, one day after a 72-year-old woman was found dead in her trash-filled home in Worth.
“There seems to be a strong behavioral connection between hoarding and other addiction disorders,” said Phil Scherer, director of the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey.
He said a traumatic incident, like the loss of a spouse, can trigger such behavior.
“Often times, hoarders seem to be trying to fill a sense of emptiness in themselves that can be brought on by a traumatic incident where they felt out of control. They need to control their stuff. They can manage that,” Scherer said. “In their minds, they have relationships with things. They have an intention for it. They think they may need it. Even junk mail becomes important to them..." More