The hoarding family member is never the one to admit that there is a problem, much less ask for or seek out hoarding treatment. If your family member is struggling with compulsive hoarding, you are not alone; it is estimated that about two million other families are struggling with the same issue. Help is available, and concerned family members are tasked with the responsibility of providing their loved one with the necessary push to get them into hoarding treatment. Call now to find out more about the hoarding help options available to you and your loved one.
Recognizing Hoarding as a Problem
Many family members have a hard time explaining to a loved one with an issue with compulsive hoarding that their collection of “stuff” is a problem that requires treatment. The easiest way to define hoarding as an issue is when it causes problems. Strained relationships, financial problems, health issues and the threat of an eviction are all common when home becomes uninhabitable due to the pile-up of possessions.
No one knows for sure what causes hoarding, though many professionals associate it with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Hoarding can, however, be an issue related to bipolar disorder, social anxiety, depression, impulse control or shopping addiction as well. No matter the cause, hoarding is an issue that will require treatment before it gets better.
Helping Your Family Member Choose Treatment
Going into your loved one’s home and picking up the garbage, cleaning and rearranging the remaining possessions are not enough to stop your loved one from allowing it to fall into the same condition again. Hoarding is a problem that is much deeper than the need for help cleaning up the house. Hoarders will always fill up their shelves, basements, yards, closets and rooms with everything they find valuable even when an objective party would define those items as a health hazard – unless they are encouraged by family members to get treatment.
Family members should not attempt to remove anything from their loved one’s house without express permission. The result will be anger and resentment that may hinder their acceptance of treatment. Instead, a hoarding intervention may be a practical option to assist your loved one.
Goals of an Intervention
A hoarding intervention is designed with a single goal in mind: to help your family member to understand that the concern of others in the family comes from love and not judgment, and to accept the fact that hoarding is an issue that requires immediate treatment. For many hoarders, an intervention will only be effective when there is a time clock placed on their recovery. For example, if a spouse is threatening to leave or if the city wants to condemn the building as a health hazard to the community, then pointing that out to your loved one in addition to the other health risks may help your family member to accept hoarding help.
Planning an Intervention
Planning a hoarding intervention doesn’t have to be difficult. A few simple steps are all it takes to put together an intervention that could change your loved one’s life forever. Here’s how:
- Decide who will participate. Contact family members and close friends who are also concerned about your loved one.
- Set up a date, time and location for two meetings: the planning meeting and the intervention itself. Check with the participants to make sure that these details will work for their schedules.
- Have a planning session. Include all participants in the planning session and determine who will speak, what they will say and for how long they will speak at the intervention.
- Enroll your family member in hoarding treatment. Making sure that there is no time to wriggle out of the agreement before hoarding treatment begins, try to schedule the intervention as close to the first day of treatment as possible.
- If the hoarding treatment is inpatient, pack a bag for them. Prepare to take your loved one to treatment immediately after the intervention.
- At the intervention, remain calm and stick to the plan. Your loved one may become emotional, angry or defensive, or try to walk out. The best you can do is to stay on task and allow everyone to say what they need to say, reminding your family member that no one is judging them and that getting help will increase their quality of life.
Hiring Professional Help
Hiring a professional interventionist to assist you with a hoarding intervention or locating appropriate hoarding an mental health treatment help for your loved one is only a phone call away. Call now.