Fear, Embarrassment, and Clutter
Clutter Embarrassment and Fear
Some home conditions may be embarrassing to reveal to outsiders. When a residence reaches extreme proportions of clutter and possibly unsanitary conditions, the home owner may try to keep their habitat, and their hoarding habit, a secret from the world, knowing that their behavior is not “normal.” The fear and clutter embarrassment may lead to the isolation of an individual with hoarding behavior, leaving them unable to address their cluttered state of being.
Hoarding behavior can turn a household into a cramped dwelling full of miscellaneous objects and obstacles. If mounds of items envelope every surface and corner, it can be difficult for one person to function in the space, let alone multiple people. In addition to limited mobility, there is also the general off-putting features that may be present in the home, such as unsightly messes and overwhelming scents that may arise. These conditions may lead to judgmental thoughts and behavior from visitors, and upsetting interventions may even occur.
If a hoarding individual suspects or even experiences such disapproving reactions, he/she may begin to close him/herself off due to the shame and embarrassment. This may result in their isolation, as even friends and family become no longer welcomed in their residence. Such negative feelings combined with isolation will only contribute to the problem rather than the solution. The individual may refuse to seek help because they fear revealing their habits and home to others will only result in judgment and mockery.
Friends and family who know of someone with hoarding behavior need to be patient and understanding with the individual. It is important not to approach them angrily or in a condescending manner because such an approach will only hurt and offend them. Do your homework and research hoarding behavior as well as how to (and how not to) approach a hoarding situation.
For those who are feeling shame and humiliation due to hoarding habits and household conditions, help is available. Do not fear judgment and harsh reactions. You are not alone. The hoarding condition is actually very prevalent, affecting roughly 5% of the world population. Mental healthcare professionals are trained to assist with hoarding situations, and specialty hoarding clean up professionals, like Address Our Mess, provide compassionate, judgment free services to help alleviate the clutter concern. Don’t let the embarrassment of hoarding hold you back.