If a person who doesn’t clean up their home considered a hoarder? My girlfriend lives in a constantly messy home and it doesn’t seem to bother her UNTIL you mention it to her.

Just being messy doesn’t make you a hoarder. It’s only considered hoarding disorder if the person is excessively attached to their things and refuses to get rid of them.

How do I approach my mom who I know is a hoarder and has been for years?

Try to help her understand how the disorder has gotten in the way of more important things in her life, and how it has hurt the family. Sometimes a formal intervention is needed.

How can you help a hoarder when they can become very violent over their items being removed?

You should contact a mental health professional with expertise in hoarding. Do not try to force the person to clean or forcibly take their things. This can result in violence or even suicide.

Are there serious physical health concerns for a hoarder?

Yes, hoarding is associated with all sorts of health problems, such as physical injuries from falling, fires from clutter, and disease from unsanitary conditions. You can learn more about this at my website  HERE.

My sister won’t throw away her children’s bikes or clothes. They are now 24 and 21 years old. She became angry when I wouldn’t accept foot grips for ice.

The grip was broken and when I told her to throw it out, she became angrier. My brother-in-law told me when he wanted to throw out something else, she got in his face and said she would harm him if he threw her stuff out. She keeps the boxes when she gets a package.

Every room in their house is cluttered. I saw a change after she miscarried her first child. And for me, I lost my parents 24 days apart and I can’t give away my father’s suits. I am concerned. Am I a hoarder and is my sister?

Based on your description, it sounds like your sister has hoarding disorder, although she would need to see a mental health professional for a more certain diagnosis. You are not a hoarder just for holding onto your father’s suits, but if your home is cluttered and there are other things you can’t discard, then it could be a problem.

Dr. Monnica Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Williams’ research focuses on African-American mental health, culture, and psychopathology. 





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