Silence in hoarding appears to be enabling.
By giving no firm requirements to seek help, or treatment or emphasis on clutter reduction; the person who hoards remains mired in the mess. They have no clear way out. No starting point. Perhaps they see no REASON to seek treatment or heal the trauma that led to the hoarding in the first place.
The person who hoards has problems making decisions and they are generally in denial about having a problem or the actual extreme depth of the issue.
Their poor insight inhibits their ability to see how they are harming themselves with their hoarding behaviors.
This lack of insight is also why they cannot comprehend how they are hurting their family members and destroying family relationships.
Hoarding is SAD. It is related to mental health issues that are unaddressed. It is difficult to see this. It is also difficult and complex to treat. Hoarding doesn’t go away on its own or get better magically.
The expectation that a person who hoards will change without proper guidance, support and encouragement is just not realistic. Usually an outside perspective is needed for help and healing.
For many years I was quiet, absent from any discussion on my parents hoarding behaviors. As #YLITH I was a peace keeper. As an #AKOPTH I am a disruptor on the issue. Silence serves no one in hoarding.
We can still approach with compassion, with kindness, with awareness that there is suffering happening for all people involved in the situation. It is not compassionate or kind to remain silent, even when the person who hoards would prefer that we say nothing of their situation.
Focusing on the person and their needs is an effective way to make an initial connection and often making that human connection with them is the first glimmer of hope they may have seen in years.
Speak up compassionately and let them know you care about them. And the family members that also suffer in silence frequently.
Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. She is also a voice & advocate for #YLITH – Youth Living in The Hoard. You can connect with Tammi at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.