Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/7/2012
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, June 15, 2012
I enjoyed this book on audio via Audible.com, and had already picked up one print copy - but I saw this one listed in the bargain bin on Amazon and couldn't resist getting another release copy.

The book opens with the story of the Collyer brothers, perhaps the best-known (and one of the most extreme - and tragic) cases of hoarding. [Other books on them include Ghosty Men.] The book moves on to modern cases, with the author going into the different causes and types of hoarding that may occur, with suggestions for ways to spot the signs and to try to cope with the problem - and with warnings against the temptation to simply step in and haul the offending "trash" away all at once, as this seldom makes a permanent change and usually causes severe trauma to the hoarder and to their relationships with family and friends.

Given the relatively quick treatments given these cases in TV shows like "Hoarding: Buried Alive", the more leisurely looks given here intrigued me - all the more when the author was able to provide interviews from several hoarders over years, with their thoughts about their situation, the feelings they had when urged to get rid of something, and what (if anything) helped them get a handle on their syndrome.

It seems clear that while several existing psychological problems (and some neurological ones) can contribute to hoarding, it doesn't have a single cause, and thus doesn't have any one cure-all either. Some of the patients responded well to basic organizational techniques, with some thought-exercises to remind themselves of how they wanted to live, while others - no matter how motivated - simply could not shake the urge to acquire and the inability to let go...

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (3/20/2013 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

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I'm adding this book to Aberpeter's Read and Journaled bookbox, which will be on its way to its next stop shortly. Hope someone enjoys it!

Journal Entry 3 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Saturday, March 30, 2013
Taking this book from Aberpeter's Read and Journalled Bookbox.

Hoarders are fascinating, though I can't say that I have watched an entire episode of Hoarding. I believe that hoarding is a psychological problem, since I was a psych major in college it sounds like an interesting read.

Journal Entry 4 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Tuesday, August 06, 2013
My Review: This was such an interesting book. I don't actually know any hoarders, but I have seen the TV show Hoarders. Once you realize that hoarding can be an OCD symptom, you can see how difficult it is to "just throw it away." Most of us see a gum wrapper on the ground and say "Gee, I guess I will throw that away." Hoarders see something else entirely. Sometimes the items are perceived to be a part of them. So for them throwing away a gum wrapper is the same as one of us throwing away a finger or something like that. It can be treated, but it takes a lot of hard work on the part of the hoarder, they have to want to change and if they are part of the 'cleaning process' it can be successful. But like a recovering alcoholic has to make a choice everyday to NOT take a drink, hoarders have to make a choice NOT to keep useless items.

I think the part that really made me sad was the children who were hoarders. A two year old who picks up sticks and leaves outside and throws a fit when you throw them away. Another girl would 'borrow' a sweater from a friend and then in her mind it was hers. The girl would ask for it back and the hoarding girl would be angry because they wanted their sweater back. Most of the hoarders are older/elderly, but I think seeing the children who were hoarding made me feel a lot of empathy for them. Life is only going be more difficult for them if they continue hoarding and don't have any treatment/therapy.

Reserved for a bookbox.

Journal Entry 5 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Saturday, May 10, 2014
Putting into my bookbox: Virtual Biography/Auto-Biography/Humor Bookbox, for Round #6.

Released 6 yrs ago (6/16/2014 UTC) at ~~~ ♥ ~~~ A Friend ~~~ ♥ ~~~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

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If you have found this book, welcome to Bookcrossing and thank you for taking the time to let us know about its journey. Feel free to enjoy the book and pass it along to a friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker, or simply leave it somewhere for another lucky reader to enjoy as you did! This book isn’t your type of read? No problem, don't feel obliged to read it, just be kind enough to help it on its journey.

Sending to etherea from the Virtual Biography/Auto-Biography/Humor Bookbox Enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 7 by wingethereawing at Little Rock, Arkansas USA on Saturday, June 21, 2014
A scary subject, but oh so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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