Hoarding‘We’re not talking about people hanging on to belongings of loved ones who have passed away…’

As heard on Drivetime

Share this Post

Have you kept that first Valentines card you received? Do you still have your school yearbook?

Do you hang on to items that are chipped but can’t bring yourself to throw away? There are differences between keeping sentimental items and hoarding. However, there could be more to this than meets the eye. You could be a hoarder with very significant reason.

Researchers at NUIG believe there’s a possible link to bereavement and compulsive hoarding. In fact, to help them along with their research, they’re looking for people to take part in a survey. The questions are simple and it’s anonymous. There are questions about background, house clutter and early childhood. But if people are even interested in the topic, they’re encouraged to take part if they have a spare twenty to thirty minutes.

Dr Elizabeth Kehoe is leading the study and she spoke with Mary Wilson about the research being carried out. Dr.Kehoe explained that there hasn’t been much research into the area of hoarding and it can be very difficult to treat.

Mary made the point that people who hoard might find it hard admitting this to themselves not to mind doing an online survey. Dr Kehoe responded ‘I suppose for people, the big thing is that they might have a lot of clutter in the home, maybe family members or friends might have mentioned it, they might feel they can’t have people over to their house because they don’t want people to see it’

And what about bereavement hoarding, is it unrealistic to expect people to part with certain items of those who’ve passed away such as clothing or jewellery…..

Dr. Kehoe says ‘we’re not talking about people hanging on to belongings of loved ones who have passed away….people might hang on to newspapers..they might buy many items that they don’t need, but it’s just that they’ve always had this tendency to accumulate belongings and have a real difficulty with clearing things out’ which can be compounded with a bereavement.

Dr Kehoe added that there could also be a link with early childhood experiences that were particularly difficult but that they did not come to terms with at the time ‘that might make them more likely to have this difficulty later on as kind of a way of coping and they may not even be aware of that’

Based on the research, they hope to publish an article on the findings and that this, in turn, might help to understand better the condition and work towards better therapies to treat hoarders.

For more from Drivetime with Mary Wilson, click here.

© The Listener 2017

Share this Post

Next Up