My Friend Has Become A Hoarder

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
My Friend Has Become A Hoarder
3
Sun, 03-02-2014 - 2:02am

   About two years ago my friend came home from Christmas shopping and found her husband on the kitchen floor dead of an apparent heart attack. She had no problem allowing myself and her sister to pack up his belongings and give them away. In the two years since her husband’s death her house has become cluttered from the top to the bottom. To the point that you can hardly move around in her house, her entire dining table and breakfast bar are covered with junk and she has a corner of her couch where she sits and eats. She loves to go antiquing and thrift store shopping and she buys all these things that she has no use that are taking up just about all the available space in her three story townhouse. She recently brought two new couches that you can't sit on because he has them covered with junk. Her kitchen counter is filled with boxes and cans of food that she can never eat in her lifetime.

    Her sister, myself and her sister in law have offered to help her clean up the place and have told her she is a hoarder. She just laughs and acts as though we are joking with her, she even has a storage unit that she is renting which is also filled junk. I told her that if it’s in storage then she obviously does not need it and that she is wasting money by keeping the unit. She says you are right I’m going to clean it out and doesn’t.

      She started dating about 5 months ago using a dating website and after she brings them home she never hears from them again. The last guy she really liked and thought it was going well, but after she brought him home and slept with him, he has been making all kinds of excuse for not seeing her again, i.e. pneumonia, hernia surgery and work. She has gone through at least 7 guys and is upset because her sister, who she encouraged to sign up on the site is still dating the guy she met online while she is having no luck. I think it is because no man in his right mind wants to date a hoarder. I think until she gets help for her hoarding that the last thing she needs to be doing is dating. She does see a therapist and has for the last 10 years and takes medicine for depression and bi polar disorder. My question is how do you get someone to see they are a hoarder and need help?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 03-02-2014 - 3:14am

You get someone to see they are a hoarder, and need help,  the same way you get anyone with a mental illness to admit they have a problem, and need help.   With great difficulty, and a lot of sensitivity.  This article discusses methods.  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/10/23/11-ways-to-help-a-loved-one-in-denial/

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Sun, 03-02-2014 - 8:12am

Thanks for the info.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 04-11-2014 - 2:32am

Some start acumulating things after losing a loved one. I think she needs help to finish adecuately her grieving proccess. After that, she might be interested in keeping her house tidy and the she must be ready for dating. I think she is not ready yet and that might take some time. She is stuck.

Men might not get right what is going on with her, but in a way they perceive that she is stuck and probably they don´t want to lose their time, so they move on.

She is not ready to move on and ahe might need some help to make this proccess easier and faster.

Just my sense of it.