Melanie Baker's Reviews > Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Stuff by Randy O. Frost
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Jun 17, 11


Hoarding has become, weirdly, kinda fashionable, largely thanks to those TV shows. This book sheds a lot of light on the psychology of hoarders and some of the issues and histories that can bring it about.

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 treated. It went through it a bit, like going to malls and not buying stuff, but clearly these people have much deeper, often family-related issues, and it would have been good to learn more about how the underlying causes are addressed.

The book also didn't really focus much on the worst-case scenarios. It had a bit on spouses leaving, eviction, etc., but as we've seen on TV, the hoards themselves can destroy a house, and people can end up bankrupt with no money to see them through their retirement years, with friends/family who just give up and leave, etc.
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