Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper thatâ€™s ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house? Or Jerry and Alvin, wealthy twin bachelors who filled up matching luxury apartments with countless pieces of f...more
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"with vivid portraits that show us the particular traits of the hoarder - piles on sofas and beds that make the furniture useless, homes that have to be navigated by narrow "goat trails", stacks of paper that are "churned" but never discarde ...more
My mom thinks three cats = animal hoarder.
She didn’t have to worry, I’m neither an animal hoarder nor a stuff hoarder but I have to admit people who are fascinate me. If I am flipping the channels and I land on the show Hoarders that is where the flipping stops, then I run around the house gathering up crap to ...more
This book takes a look at the why and how of people collecting things. Some of the stories just broke my heart, however it felt like the authors were just there to write a book. They didn't seem to take the caring part to heart. I felt ...more
Down-shot, slant-cast eyes--don’t, don’t look at me.
Uncomfortable stammer; no, make that painful acting.
Rituals. Save, save, save.
Followed by--always--rage: “DON’T...WANT TO...TALK.”
Disbelief, ignorance, disgrace, cruelty.
What is HAPPENING ...more
OK, that's a bit facetious because I'm not really HOARDING them - I just can't consider them "finished" until I've reviewed them, so I just keep adding more and more until I have time to write the reviews to clear the list. *sigh* Does that make me some sort of OCD? Or just weird?
Just weird? OK then.
Moving on... In my house, we have some strange dynamics. I am not a neat frea ...more
- The engaging way in which the two authors present the cases they have encountered (which, frankly, would appeal to the voyeuristic in most) - young hoarders, animal hoarders, belligerent 'blind' hoarders vs. intelligent hoarders, hoarders with OCD...
- The authors' compassion for their subjects
- Their admission that it is indeed difficult to help hoarders (and there's no miracle therapy that would solve their issues)
I was highly uncomfortable reading some of ...more
I know I say this a lot, but I really should have reviewed this book right after reading, because details don't always stick around long enough for me to remember to write about them. This book in particular was chock full of so many interesting details I know it would be impossible for me to convey most of them even if I'd written this review ten seconds after finishing. And it's been a month and a half.
Randy O. Frost was a professor at Smith college when an ...more
This book is much more interesting than the TV shows. Sure, all the classics are here, the Collier brothers, the people who keep their pee in jars (don't look to closely at those Oh Henry bars...) but without the smack ...more
I love the shows Clean Sweep, Hoarders, Life Laundry, etc.
The authors come from an academic background so there is a slight text book feel to the work, but it is all punctuated with example after example. And the truth they find at the bottom of the piles is it’s not about the stuff. I think the common misconception people have when they see examples of hoarding on TV is just to throw it away. Getting rid of the stuff will not be a miracle cure. In fact on example from the ...more
Gearing up for a move out of state this month... I certainly need to dump a lot. Let's call it "borderline pathological" ;-]
A technical assessment of hoarding from a psychological-scientific perspective which, according to the authors, has been lacking until very recently. They advocate a set of hoarding-exclusive diagnostic criteria for the next edition of the DSM, as chronic hoarding is currently classified under OCD or addiction, since there is some overlap of symptoms ...more
Listening to (or reading) this book is to watching a TV show about hoarders is as volunteering at a hospital is to attending a circus freak show.
Listening to this book after reading various books about memory (specifically, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research ...more
So I had to read this book. The author writes very well and uses people he has worked with to control or eliminate their hoarding. (Obviously, he disguises their real names.) It was fascinating to me to see how many hoarders can gi ...more
But I did learn a lot from this particular book. Like a lot of people, when I see those houses of hoarders, I think, just go in and take all the trash out with a dump truck and stop trying to persuade the hoarder to part with his possessions. What I learned fr ...more
most people wouldn't say i'm a hoarder (although i am messy) but i do have hoarder-ish qualities (also OCD-ish qualities & trauma), and two things in this book were recogniza ...more
It wasn't a big happy ending book -- it made clear that not all of the people in their case studies were "cured", and how common it is for a cleared out house to be completely filled back up again surprisingly quickly.
What I would have liked to have read more about would be how such people are ...more
During his research, Dr. Frost created his own Clutter Image Rating by photographing rooms in various stages of messiness and then asking clients to identify the level their home is at. What is interesting is how frequentl ...more
There were passages in this book that caused me some discomfort: I found many indicators that could easily be applied to me: stacks of books I won't live long enough to read, impulsive (compu ...more
Welcome to the world of hoarding.
"Stuff" is an ambitious undertaking. Psychologists Randy Frost and Gail Steketee, who specialize in hoarding behavior, explore multiple facets of this puzzling psychological disorder. Drawing upon various case studies spanning decades of field work, Frost narrates this harrowing journey through piles of accumulated stuff. Hoarding is no obscure illness--according to Fros ...more
The book basically uses multiple case studies (people who have or do live on horded conditions) to look at hording's various presentations and to attempt to get to its causes. The latter is not always accomplished. However the discussions about what brings about this condition can be (even if they're not always) enli ...more
Lots of psychological theories here. One is that hoarders form attachments to objects rather than people. I can definitely identify with that one. People can let you down, leave, die, etc, but possessions are always there. Other people become attached to things ...more