--Original published at Zachs College Blog
Many television shows now a days include shows like My Strange Addiction, Hoarders, etc and turn these individuals mental illnesses into an entertainment for people to watch. Furthermore, Hoarders is a show that people are trying to get their homes and lives back in shape. In my opinion, I feel that these shows are tearing these individuals who suffer with mental issues that allow themselves to create the name as a “Hoarder”. These Tv producers create shows like this to attract people to view because they are usually so astonished with what these people have done to this life and living situation. These individuals brain functions in a “strange nature” meaning they have many behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that cause them to create these unbreakable habit. I personally believe these shows could be classified as unethical because these producers know they are offensive and show many examples of people with little or no insight. Overall, I feel that these types of show are negative and portray these people who truly can not help it as entertainment. Now I am going to compare both standpoints on whether not these shows are helpful or damaging.
“The shows promote the idea that arriving at a house with a cleaning crew and pressuring people to discard possessions is the way to solve the problem.” This is what the first psychological researcher stated when speaking on the show “Hoarders”. Although, it is not just that easy to break an individual’s hoarding habits. For people dealing with these mental illnesses to break these problems, they require behavioral cognitive therapy to help diminish their attachment to certain possessions. “But what A&E has chosen to do is dramatize the outward manifestation of hoarding rather than truly getting to the root of the hoarding for either viewers or the hoarders themselves.” These producers even have a Youtube channel that provides bonus clips and house assessments which comes off as joking around about their situation when really these professionals are supposed to be there to provide tips and ways to break these habits. In one article, the author believed that these shows actually do not raise awareness because these producers seek out the most extreme cases to film. Although, in the shows opening it states that hoarding affects more than 16 million people in the US. By doing this, it provides the viewers with an idea that the episodes they show are impossible to understand or relate to. “Hoarding is showcased as out-there, over-the-top, monstrous.” The generalization is that viewers are supposed to feel sorry for these people going through that but these shows give us a vivid picture of what its like for these individuals to be going through something like hoarding. Overall, I feel that this information was credible as both sources provided very similar statements about the negatives on shows that exploit individuals mental illnesses.
Although, some people believe that these types of shows actually are helpful for both the individuals and the audience. One of the main reasons people want to get on hoarders is because of the finances. As a part of taking part of their show, the budgets from the show actually pay for all of the clean-up, therapists, and specialists who help the individual through the experience. One of the biggest stressors for these people is knowing the costs of the tons and tons of cleaning supplies for their current home. One researcher stated that extreme case of desperation an individual has to allow a camera crew, therapists, and specialists into their home just gives an accurate depiction of just how desperate and frustrating a hoarding situation can be on someone. Some researchers believe that these episodes can be somewhat beneficial to educate the general public. More specifically towards people who are currently mildly dealing with a mental illness tend to use it as a lesson to allow them to not let themselves reach a level like the people in the shows. You always have to remember that these shows do contain a lot of drama, but many times the producers produce and edit them from the original film. Many reality shows contain a particular stereotype or if they are actually “real” or not. Lastly, this show provides a common misconception on these people. Many times people generalize that hoarders are “nasty” people. In reality though, a psychologist stated that many times these hoarders are actually caregivers like teachers, social workers, etc which shows they are loving, caring people. Overall, I feel that this information is credible, but I still do believe the negatives outweighs the positives on the general outlook of this show.
Adler, Lana. “15 Little Known Facts About A&E’s ‘Hoarders’.” TheThings, TheThings, 11 Sept. 2017, http://www.thethings.com/15-little-known-facts-about-aes-hoarders/.
Almendrala, Anna. “Hoarding Reality Shows Might Do More Harm Than Good.” HuffPost, Life, 17 June 2015, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/hoarding-reality-shows_n_7605804.