--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations
For this post I chose to do the second option of Hoarding. I have people who are close to me that are hoarders, thankfully not as extreme as the ones on the show, and I have seen the show a few times. It bewilders me to see how people can let their house get as bad as some people let it. Frankly, I am the kind of person who can’t stand messes. Recently I visited family and my uncles basement I stayed in had food crumbs all over the floor and the one room smelled awful do to the dogs sometimes using it as a bathroom. I felt so gross that I wouldn’t walk around the house without shoes and avoided the dog smelling room as much as possible. However, the people on this show can be so bad the one person was living in his backyard because his house was filled to the roof with trash.
No matter how extreme the one thing everyone has in common with each other on this show is the hoarding didn’t happen until after an extreme tragedy occurred in their life. Because their hoarding is a result of a tragedy it really raises a question as to if these shows are more harmful to these people rather than beneficial. Personally, I believe they are harmful because they are already feeling stressed and hurt from their family members forcing them to drastically change their ways. Showing their pain on t.v. for the world to see makes them feel even more stressed and vulnerable which can harm their mental health even more which seems highly unethical to me. If families are truly worried about their loved ones then they should help them in privacy rather than exploit them.
When preparing to do this post I did a lot of searching on sources to back up if these shows are beneficial or harmful. Frankly, I couldn’t find anyone who believed this show benefits the hoarders. Every source had reasons to believe the show is harmful to the people being shown. So instead of discussing two sources why this show is good and why it is bad, I am going to discuss three sources explaining why this show is harmful for the people on it. One of the sources does give a brief explanation as to why it can be good.
“Hoarding Reality Shows Might Do More Harm Than Good”
This article mostly discusses about how the shows are harmful but does also talk about how some people on the show say they have credited from it. Information from the British Psychology Society in the article discusses how reality shows should stop entertaining people with the mental illnesses of others. A researcher on the topic of hoarding also believes these shows promote pressuring people to get rid of all of their belongings (trash or not) which is not a healthy way of going about helping them because clearing the clutter isn’t going to help their mental well being. The people on this show would need long term cognitive behavior therapy in order to work on stopping the hoarding. Some people have claimed if it wasn’t for the show then they wouldn’t have come to terms with the fact that they have a problem which led them to seek the help they needed to clean their house and help their mental well being.
This source is credible because they found people who were affected by these shows and got first hand accounts and also included the links to where they found their sources of information.
“The Problem That Piles Up”
This article explains a lot as who what hoarding disorder is and what helps and doesn’t help people with the disorder. This source is credible because it references a lot to the source that they used for their information and also provides a link to that sources for people to use. In the article it references, Dr. David F. Tolin of Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, as saying people who have a hoarding disorder lost their ability to control their decision making. Because of this, when the people are forced to decide whether or not they should throw something out their brain overreacts leading them to believe everything is important even if it is a piece of trash. It seems the best way to try and get someone with a hoarding disorder to take care of themselves is by being gentle and having calm conversations with them. These show are more often than not the opposite of treating someone with a calm and gentle manner.
“Hoarding: why forced clean-outs are unsuccessful”
This article is credible because it has links to some of the information at the end of the article and it also credits a book that was used for research that was written by hoarding specialists. This article points out what is mostly disturbing about these shows is they don’t educate the public on hoarding being a mental disorder but rather as people who are lazy and giving up on life. This article does a great job of transferring the information written by the specialists into the article. The specialists pointed out how it harms the hoarders to have a family member or the public (health departments) show up at their door ready to clean their house out without warning. In fact, they says it traumatizes them further because they see these things as their life and for someone to throw it away without them wanting to. It also only changes the living conditions temporarily because the person isn’t getting the help for the disorder they need.