TLC is jumping on the OCD/Hoarders bandwagon with their own special looking at the disorder. Unlike A&E’s Hoarders, though, this special allows for more than two or three days to try and solve such a deep-rooted and complicated psychological problem.
I was so thrilled to see that these people’s problems were tackled over a span of weeks and months. Like Hoarders, we got two different cases, but one of them has to be one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen. Since I deleted the episode and can’t find any information online about it, I don’t have their names, so I’ll call them the mom and the grandmother.
The mom’s house is beyond ridiculous, with tiny paths meandering through the house that she and her husband have to literally climb through in places. The grandmother’s situation isn’t nearly as bad, as she still has clean areas for her grandkids to play in.
While she didn’t specify why she has them, it was those grandkids now living with her that lead to her seeking help. She has a room in the house set aside for her seven-year old grandson, but it’s filled floor to ceiling with eleven-years worth of crap.
The other case is far more severe, as this mother has lost both her children, who rarely talk to her and never come home anymore. Her husband is struggling with how much longer he’ll be able to live there.
Hoarding is such a bizarre affliction that’s too often categorized as laziness and slobbishness, but it’s much more than that. I agree with studies that it seems to have a life of its own different than your typical OCD cases. It’s an emotional association to either each particular object, or a sense of happiness and wholeness that the objects bring.
What was a little disappointing was that while this special did a decent job of showing where the roots of this disorder are often found, and that it has some possible genetic foundations as well, it didn’t do as thorough a job of showing the actual turmoil that a hoard faces when they start to clear out.
Both of these hoarders were shown as pretty happy and positive about the cleaning out and getting rid of their precious “stuff.” Maybe they were, but it might send out a false message to hoarders and their loved ones that it’s fairly easy to part with these things. It’s not. It can be done, but it’s not all smiles along the way.