Hoarding is a disorder that is characterized by the inability to let go of certain belongings which eventually accumulate to an overwhelming extent. If your family member or roommate is a hoarder, it can be a very frustrating experience for everyone involved. Not only does the endless clutter leave you feeling suffocated, but it can also be quite disheartening to see your loved one struggle with a terrible addiction. Unfortunately, in an effort to help, many people living with hoarders can make several mistakes that could worsen the problem. So, if you are looking to assist your loved one to overcome this harmful vice, here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid:
- Forcefully throwing away their belongings
This is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make. For hoarders, their belongings are not merely material things but rather, they carry a huge sentimental value, thereby making it difficult for them to let go. Forcefully taking away your loved one’s possessions can lead to an emotional breakdown since they are not prepared to deal with the psychological pain that comes with discarding their belongings. Furthermore, acting in such a malicious way can sabotage your relationship with them and make them withdraw deeper into their addiction.
- Adding fuel to the fire
It’s no secret that family members and friends often exchange gifts with one another. However, when you are dealing with someone who has a hoarding disorder, it is essential that you rethink this common custom. Avoid giving them extra possessions to add to the clutter. Instead of buying gifts, you can take them out somewhere to celebrate special occasions.
- Lack of affirmation
No one enjoys living in a cluttered space, even hoarders. Thus, if your loved has been struggling with hoarding for any length of time, it’s likely that they have made some attempts to change either in the present or sometime in the past. Hence, if you notice any positive changes, no matter how small, be sure to affirm them and show that you appreciate the effort they are making. This will encourage them to continue on the road to recovery.
- Failing to deal with the root problem
Hoarding is often a manifestation of other deep-seated problems. Failing to deal with these issues can cause your loved one to slip back into their old habits time and time again. Hence, it is advisable for your loved one to seek the help of a professional counselor who will help them sort out the root cause of their hoarding disorder, thereby setting the stage for sustained progress.
- Trying to clean it yourself
Hoarding cleanup is a difficult and time-consuming task that should only be left to the professionals. Attempting to clear the space on your own can lead to stress and risk of exposure to biohazards. For this reason, once your loved one is ready to let go of their belongings, you should immediately contact hoarding removal specialists who will be discreet, professional and thorough.