Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Digging for truth in hoarding TV shows

By Nicholas Sauma

Television shows about hoarding depict people trapped in piles of papers, mountains of objects, and every room packed to the brim with stuff.  It makes good television, but is it real?
UNO’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work hired Christiana Bratiotis, who has specialized in researching hoarding for nearly a decade now.  Her background in mental health practice, research, and teaching made her the perfect source for the truths behind the misconceptions about hoarding.

Bratiotis arrived in Omaha just before the semester started from Boston University where she did her postdoctoral fellowship.
“I chose UNO, and specifically the School of Social Work, because the faculty here are so devoted and I wanted an opportunity to teach and mentor students,” Bratiotis said.

Hoarding, as Bratiotis explained, is now considered a stand alone mental health disorder under the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum.  It affects roughly five percent of Americans and has been found to be genetically linked.  It is characterized by three problems: collecting too many items, having difficulty getting rid of items, and problems with organization, according to the International OCD Foundation.  It cannot be treated by conventional methods of medication and therapy, but a new behavioral therapy program has been developed by with some solid results..."  More

No comments: