Last night’s episode of The Hoarders is probably the worst I’ve seen. The gross level is beyond one’s comprehension. I mean, how can someone live in a house so filthy with tons of crap piling up ? As if it wasn’t enough, the camera panned on the woman’s bathroom filled with five years worth of dirty diapers, cat feces all over the floor, and horror of all horrors! four decomposing cats buried amidst the stockpile. I felt heavy and my throat was dry. Shoot, I was in utter disbelief!
Hoarding a.k.a pathological collecting is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the International OCD Foundation, between 2 to 3 million adults in the United States have OCD; about 2 to 5% percent of Americans may be hoarders, according to Psychologist David Tolin, PhD (source: WebMD)
So what differentiates a pathological hoarder from a bonafide collector?
First, hoarding is a mental disorder that results from significant stress i.e tragedy, loss of loved ones, relationship issues, financial, etc.
Second, excessive hoarding disrupt a person’s quality of life and ability to function such as unable to cook or bathe, with obvious health and safety hazards at home.
Typical symptoms of a pathological hoarder includes: collects items of worthless value; excessively buys items of any kind; attaches sentimental value to all items; lives in a very cluttered home.
What makes collecting different from hoarding then?
A collector values her possessions by keeping or displaying them nicely, knows when an item is a good purchase or not, organized, mindful of the over all value of her collectibles, and most of all, her collections don’t preoccupy her life.
As a makeup enthusiast, I enjoy watching videos and/or reading blogs of makeup collections from other women who share the same passion. I have seen some that can rival a Sephora store, what with the massive makeups, hair, nail, tools, etc. Most are even unused or unopened. So is it pathological hoarding or merely collecting?
Personally, I would think of myself as a user more than a collector. I buy products that interest me but I also throw them when they’ve maxed out their shelf-life. I can skip the urge to purchase things I don’t really need but also snag deals that are simply too good to pass up. I open and use all the products I own. And yes, I have a whole ‘lotta life outside my makeup room.
#Springcleaning. Okay, I’m a little ahead but I just threw away expired makeups before I wrote this post.