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Psychological Question

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posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:25 AM
reply to post by notreallyalive

The description of not sleeping on her own bed because of the piles as well as paths through the piles of hoarded stuff is sufficient.

One doesn't really need a LOT of other factors to assess the severity of the problem.

Certainly professional diagnoses is to be preferred.

However, the odds are this gal is NEVER going to present herself in a counselor's office of any kind unless forced to by authorities and taken there by essentially force.

One of the prime ethical issues I was taught is WHATEVER IS BEST FOR THE CLIENT.

Any help--even by a layman--is likely all this gal is going to get before she's got literally one foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel with mountains of stuff teetering above her.

just my 2 cents. My PhD is in clinical psych.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:28 AM
reply to post by femmefreud

Oh, yeah, . . . never finishing stuff . . .

Perfectionism again.

IF one finishes something, then one tends to get evaluated on it.

She's had too much overt and/or covert evaluation by her parents all her growing up. She felt rejected for not being perfect.

Being evaluated is too painful . . . never finish, never have to get evaluated.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:36 AM
reply to post by Melissa101

There are all kinds of obsessions and compulsions.

She has flavors of the cleanliness obsession stuff in the way she handles her laundry and painted the bathroom.

The driveway cleaning where others can see and judge her is also obsessive and compulsive.

Otherwise, her hoarding compulsion overrides the cleanliness issues.

The pseudo'security' & 'comfort' of STUFF reigns supreme.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:44 AM
reply to post by femmefreud

I suspect that the being late has at least a couple of major roots.

1. the hoarding and insecurity based stuff to try and have everything one might need for any eventuality.

2. being late insures she's noticed more. There's some control "watch me" "watch me" stuff there, most likely.

You could experiment with playing off her kindness . . .

"Mildred, I really need a kind favor of you today. I need you to arrive NO LATER THAN 2 minutes after the appointed time. If you are not willing nor able to do that, we'd better reschedule."

What would she say? What would she do? You could change the time to 15 minutes late but I wouldn't be toooo generous.

I'd cut it at least short from the average by 10 minutes.

If I was feeling really ornery or courageous, I might warn her that when she got there, I was inspecting her purse. If she had more then 2 of any item, I was confiscating the 3rd, 4th etc. and giving them to the Salvation Army. Or some needy gals down the street.

But you have to play it very carefully. Experiment with how much leverage the importance you are to her really allows you, gives you. Then use that currency wisely nudging her in very tiny steps forward.

She's far from up to leaping tall buildings with a single bound.

For example, the above might be far too much of a single bound. You might have to say instead, IF YOU HAVE 6 ITEMS EACH OF WHICH HAS 4 COPIES, I'LL TAKE ALL BUT 2 OF ONE OF THE ITEMS. AND SLOWLY INCREASE THAT OVER MANY VISITS TO 2 SUCH, 3 SUCH, ETC.

But be very sensitive to what 'the market will bear.'

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:48 AM
reply to post by BO XIAN

thanks for the post, Its very interesting , you have some pretty good advice for sure, and your right its going to be tough, you are right about alot , she does have pets, too many of those too.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 02:50 AM
reply to post by femmefreud

Rats. I was hoping that wasn't true.

Sounds pretty serious beyond the already very serious evidence.

The cats raise a serious health issue beyond all the other health issues.

You could get some literature on the diseases of outdoor cats that can be passed to humans.

And, there are plenty of cases with multiple cats and officials having to get involved that you could have her read.

If I had a video, I'd also video tape her whole house . . .

And if she had any grown kids, I'd sit her and them all down in my house and all look at the video together with detailed comments on every pile and room. The viewing of the video out of her home COULD be very interesting--different than awash amidst it. You could even bill it --I'd pick her up--not let her drive--and tell her on the way, you have a video of someone like her. Of course she'll know immediately it's her. But the suggestion "someone like her" would inject a bit of a . . . seed of an idea that . . . she could look at this video a bit 'at arm's length.'

Could increase the POSSIBILITY that she'd be a bit shocked to view her chaos from that 'distance.'

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:20 AM

being late insures she's noticed more. There's some control "watch me" "watch me" stuff there, most likely.
reply to post by BO XIAN

I mentioned the word hoarding to her it was that show coming out i had seen previews of it, she said im not a hoarder, i just dont have time to organize, and i need a bigger place, See it seems if you kind of tell her somthing inadvertantly, she secretely takes heed . I guess that way its her idea ? And she does relate to things that are in writing such as these posts. we all cant be wrong.
I think your right about that, it does seem that she likes that we wait on her . and give her the attention when she shows up. she always makes excuses for the stuff, she doesnt have time or she had to do this,you know she will clothing she cant get a stain out of and say she will just dye them a different color, she never will though . i tell her ,hey a hobo just called says he wants his clothes back, thinking she might get it, that its garbage. If a garment is too bad to keep she will take buttons or whatever else off, before getting rid of it, Her daughter recently went thru her kitchen and boxed up doubles of cups and whatever to get it to a minimum and she went back thru it later and kept almost all of it and hid it, she has stuff hiding at my house too. DOESNT HIDING IT MEAN THAT SHE KNOWS ITS WRONG ? she had recently cleared her bed off, i praised her we all did she seemed so happy about that, we made a big thing about it too, 3 days tops piled high again and still gaining. I cause a avalanche everytime i go there of some sort .

[edit on 15-11-2009 by femmefreud]

[edit on 15-11-2009 by femmefreud]

[edit on 15-11-2009 by femmefreud]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:27 AM
Did i mention shes stubborn as all get out, Lord I love her but I always tell her TO THE MOON ALICE.. she just laughs. Shes a gem of a person, I do think getting all of the friends and her kids together might just do it if we sort of corner her and offer our help with her overseeing evry thing we can have a sell or something.. or send her on a vacation and clean house lol. i shouldnt joke i know , Its just gone from bad to worse, I joke with her about it too . but its relly no laughing matter.i think i will print these posts and have her read them too, see if it hits home somehow

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:22 AM
I agree with most of what has been said here, however, please don't think these are attention-seeking behaviors. They are not. The person can actually start to be so embarrested by the clutter they begin refusing to let anyone in the house.

She is probably late to events because she has "rituals" which must be performed so many times before she can leave the house. These are probably private, and you might not be aware of them. She is embarrested to tell you. (example: Must wash hands twenty-five times and check to see if doors are locked fifty times, before she can leave the house.) Or whatever. Typically, they are something like this.

Here's the bottom line:

1. Needs medical evaluation to rule out the possibility of any issues, such as developing dementia, organicity, etc.

2. Needs treatment. There are medications which can help with this. Her regular family physician can prescribe something.

3. Needs family. They can do things you can't do. An adult child can come in and get away with throwing things out. You can't. I don't know her age, and that is a tremendous factor.

4. The underlying issue, again, is not about attention. It's about control.
She has lost control of something. This little area that is her own, her home, she CAN control. Explore with her what she has lost control of, whether it is her children, her work, her health, her money,whatever.

5. Remember the hoarding is not the problem, but just a symptom of the problem.

You are so kind to hang in with her. People typically tire of these behaviors quickly, and don't want to deal with them.

Remember too, that unless she is wealthy, she will begin depleting her financial resources very quickly through the purchase of this stuff. Big problem.

I feel like we are covering you up with advice, lol. If you need to clarify something with me, you can U2U me.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:57 AM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

You sure make alot of sense out of her behavior, It fits perfectly, I could say more but i think ive put enough out there so that you all get the picture. Its wierd but i feel a little ashamed for having thrown her out to the public this way, sort of guilty or something. like i am betraying her or something. I just worry about her , and she seems so blind to whats really going on with her. I suppose i knew you all wouldnt make excuses for her as she does ,and as others that shes convinced . Ive always known there was more to it than just clutter and shes just to busy to organize. she really cant help it , So i thank you all. I plan to print all of these and let her , and others read it. I know it will be instrumental in convincing her she needs help. I will post if and when something has surfaced.

[edit on 15-11-2009 by femmefreud]

[edit on 15-11-2009 by femmefreud]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:02 PM

Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb, I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from.
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

PS Bob Dylans My favorite. I havent seen to many people who like him in my time.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by femmefreud

Being concerned about someone and trying to find a way to offer genuine help is nothing to be ashamed of. She is completely anonymous here, you have thrown her before no one. These are honestly circumstances which can be so very frustrating for the helper, so I think it's great you are hanging in with her like this.

Again, good luck with it. It's a stubborn kind of disorder, so don't become discouraged if you can't solve her issues on your own.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 01:07 PM
reply to

Being concerned about someone and trying to find a way to offer genuine help is nothing to be ashamed of. She is completely anonymous here, you have thrown her before no one. These are honestly circumstances which can be so very frustrating for the helper, so I think it's great you are hanging in with her like this.
post by ladyinwaiting


Thank you , I feel better in fact, I have to admit your reply brought me to tears, I dont think i have cried for her untill now. Thanks, your the best.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:33 PM
reply to post by femmefreud

Thanks for your kind reply.

Yes, her hiding it does indicate some 'super-ego' awareness that it's not a healthy thing.

However, her compulsions, anxieties, obsessions are IN SUCH HORRIFICALLY FIERCE, STRONG CONTROL,

One virtually has to strike at the unconscious, intensely emotional level to even make a dent in her defenses, imho.


one has to patiently shape her behavior with some very powerful reinforcements--if there are any--such as relationships, kindness, attention etc.

And, probably also, one has to make a broken record of telling her the truth such as.

No, Mildred, that's not the truth. The truth is you are an obsessive hoarder and it is very destructive to you mental health, to your physical health and to your relationships. It is a kind of mental illness and you are already in desperate straights and will not admit it to yourself. That indicates how serious a level you have reachd.


No, Mildred, that's not the truth. It is not a matter of excusing yourself or rationalizing. You will not use that clothing again because you are an obsessive perfectionist and it is now stained. Yet, you will not give it to someone who wouldn't care about the stain and desperately needs it. That's Crazy Mildred. There's nothing healthy or rational about that.


No, Mildred, that's not the truth. And I love you too much to agree with your lies to yourself. You are destroying your health. You are sinking deeper into irrationality with all this anxiety ridden obsessive hoarding. I wonder how many weeks it is before the officials are going to have to come and condemn your house as unliveable and take you to a group home care facility. At least you'd have to learn to survive as an adult without your house full of junk-as-teddy-bear.


No, Mildred, that's not the truth. The truth is you are more in denial about your problem than an alcoholic is about his alcoholism. It's just that your addiction is hoarding. And every time those of us who love you try and help you with it--you sabotage our efforts right and left. And within hours or a few days you are right back where you started before our help--or worse. That's frightful, Mildred. That's suicidal in a slowly destructive way. How do you think you'll like living in the group home without your hoard of stuff when officials come and condemn your house and take you and the cats all away? How well will your then nonexistent hoard comfort and protect you then?



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:38 PM
reply to post by femmefreud

I doubt asking her will help any more than asking an alcoholic needing a family intervention would help.

It would be better fo arrange for the kids to meet with an intervention trained and skilled counselor and understand very emphatically THAT SHE WILL NOT GET BETTER ON HER OWN. SHE WILL ONLY GET WORSE. AND THAT IT IS A LIFE THREATENING THING.


I don't see much hope otherwise.

If you can't find a good counselor willing to take an onsite family intervention--IF THERES' A SHARP SENSITIVE TOUGH MINDED CHILD OR FRIEND WHO'S WILLING TO READ UP SUFFICIENTLY ON ALL SUCH--it could still be a success. But the leader of the group would need to be well informed and also probably have 2-3 hours of coaching sessions from a good counselor.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:40 PM
reply to post by femmefreud

Cut and clip and possibly rewrite some of the posts. They are more for the helpers. It would sabotage some of the effectiveness for her to read the raw posts.

I'd encourage you to be prayerfully discerning about which posts and sentences to share with her.


[edit on 15/11/2009 by BO XIAN]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by femmefreud


It is a horrendous level of a problem that is very intractable and very resistent to change. And usually by the time the officials can intervene, the person is essentially even further beyond all levels of possibly effective help.

There MAY still be some time. She's still somewhat rational.

Be comforted in being a very loving courageous friend who's going the 2nd and tenth mile out of love for your beloved friend. Enormously admirable.

What are the ages of her kids?

When did the hoarding get really worse?

I wonder what would happen if, when you entered her house, you went first to her bed and put in a garbage bag everything on her bed and carried it out to your car? EVERY TIME.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Excellent points.

I don't know how much the lateness is rituals etc. Hard to say from our distance.

I wouldn't rule out attention seeking altogether.

Certainly the hoarding is a symptom. Certainly there are horrendous control issues.

I finally asked above when did the hoarding start. I wonder what happened after the death or separation of a husband???

Or about when the last child moved out?

Saying the hoarding is a symptom can be . . . a bit . . . something. It's like with alcoholism . . . the alcoholism is a symptom but until it is more under control, none of the other problem solving will get anywhere.

I'd say with her, one would do well to affirm everything that can be affirmed honestly, congruently, lovingly. I just think that most of it will roll off like water off a duck until maybe the 1,000th to 2,000th repetition.

U2U ing me would be fine, too.

It's good to have the open thread. This is an epidemic problem.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 07:02 PM
My Dad was (is) a hoarder. He grew up poor as dirt and gives the word, "Frugal" a whole new dimension. He never threw anything away.

All attempts to convince him to throw stuff out were unsuccessful.
His compulsion to save everything was reinforced on those rare occasions when he needed something and finally found it after having stored it for years. A nut or bolt that was just the right size convinced him that his efforts were not in vain.

One day I noticed that he took great delight finding a part for my broken washing machine that he had scavenged off an old unit someone had thrown out. He did not hesitate or display any reluctance to part with this thing he had held onto for so long because he knew it was being put to good use.

My brothers and I devised a plan to involve him in a charity drive and asked him about donating some of the stuff he had collected. Once Dad realized that his gargantuan collection of junk could actually benefit someone else he was delighted to let us haul it away.

It took me and my brother weeks to systematically go through his basement ang garage but we actually found several things we could donate to AMVETS and other agencies. Along with the useful stuff we also hauled away the junk. He was none the wiser.

this hasn't cured him of his hoarding but with supervision and lots of suggestions we have managed to direct his efforts to saving more useful stuff. When things start to get cluttered again, we just start another "Charity Drive" and start hauling stuff away.

My dad would never agree to see a physiologist. He thinks they're all quacks and shysters so it is useless to try to get any professional help for him.

As long as he thinks his stuff is being put to a good use he is happy to let it go.

I don't know if this will help you with your friend but it might be worth a try.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by Sparky63

I was glad to read your post - I was going to suggest persuading this lady to donate some of her things to charity.


I wouldn't call myself a hoarder, but I do have a few collections of things and a tool box full of odd screws and nails which do, occasionally, come in useful.

I just can't help thinking how I'd feel if someone came into my home and started to try and persuade me to get rid of things that they couldn't see the value of. How could an outsider make decisions about what I should keep and what was expendable?

If this were my friend I think I'd go the charity route or go on about the value of recycling and how valuable old newspapers, jars etc would be to the local recycling depot.

I do understand the difference between an excessive hoarder and someone who 'collects stuff' but I think that the feeling would be the same for anyone who had to see outsiders making off with their things. And is it really up to other people to decide where the lines should be drawn?

If she can be persuaded to give freely to those in need it may help to liberate her. If she did it a few times and felt good about it she might be prepared to give even more.

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