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Extreme Hoarding: Peril of Possessions

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Extreme Hoarding: Peril of Possessions

Some have tons of trash in their home. Some have no bed on which to sleep or no kitchen in which to prepare decent meals. They are extreme hoarders.

Imagine a home so loaded with possessions and trash that rescue workers can’t make their way in without drilling a hole in the roof. Or having to crawl through self-made tunnels to move around your own house.

That is the grim reality for hoarders — people who accumulate possessions and/or trash and cannot bring themselves to part with anything. Exact numbers are unknown, but it is estimated that up to 1.2 million people in the U.S suffer from compulsive hoarding.

Hoarding takes many forms, from the collection of newspapers and magazines to what most of us would consider to be garbage, with piles of boxes, bags, collectibles, trash, and stuff… accumulating and spreading throughout the home and property.

Hoarding can result in health problems as well as family tension and estrangement.

Animal Hoarding
The Humane Society reports that each year, almost 250,000 animals are victims of animal hoarding. The Society differentiates animal hoarding from other types of animal abuse by the fact that the perpetrators don’t always recognize the cruelty they are inflicting on the animals — they usually believe they are rescuing or saving the animals and are unaware of the filth and odor.

Unfortunately, these animals suffer from neglect, starvation, and unsanitary conditions. Often, deceased animals are found among the living animals, encouraging insect and rodent infestations. These conditions also threaten the health of the human occupants of the home. It is not uncommon for these homes to be condemned by the health department.

Next: Hoarders on Reality TV… teachable moments or exploitation?

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

156 comments

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3:11AM PDT on May 2, 2014

Thank you

11:10PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

This would be such a horrible condition to have.

I remember when I was a child of a lady who rented from my grandfather who kept the house piled with boxes and boxes of stuff .. leaving very little room to walk any where throu it.

7:46PM PST on Nov 28, 2013

Thank you.

7:45PM PST on Nov 28, 2013

Thank you.

6:38PM PST on Nov 28, 2013

Thank you.

6:37PM PST on Nov 28, 2013

Thank you.

4:12PM PST on Jan 4, 2013

if i could give away 100 plus boxes of books and things ive collected over 30 years, you can to.

8:37PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Hoarding must be a different kind of mania, if you will...

12:34PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Boone S.- You are worthy of a better circumstance in life. Use your telephone and call an extreme hoarding specialist right now! With love and best wishes, Laurie G.

9:51AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

thanks

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