Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now we know, and knowing is half the battle

God bless the internet. When I first heard the term "compulsive hoarding" in the late 90's, two things happened. First, I thought, "Oh! So THAT'S what's wrong with my mother." Second, I thought, "Great! So if there's a name for this thing, there must be a ton of information out there about it." I was right on the first thought, wrong on the second. At that point, research on compulsive hoarding was in its infancy and there just wasn't much information available. There is now. It is oddly comforting to me that Googling "compulsive hoarding" pulls up 402,000 results (and counting).

Back then, I felt alone. Even though I knew there must be other people going through what I'd been through, no one was talking about it. Today, people are making TV shows about hoarding. People are writing blogs and web sites and books about hoarding. So not only are we friends and relatives of hoarders not alone, but now we know what's going on with Mom (or Grandpa, or Aunt Judith, as the case may be). And knowing is half the battle.


  1. Hi Elizabeth!

    I agree, what a revelation when I realized there was a name and at least some body of knowledge on the disorder. I wish more were understood clinically about what is going on here and how to treat it, but I guess we are part of the research and part of the knowledge that is increasing. Hopefully our experiences can help those in the future who may struggle with this, either first hand or second hand.


  2. My parents were hoarders. I cried with relief when I found some others to share my horror stories with. I hope you keep doing your blog, I will be reading :)