As a teenager, Cherry Lodge never had friends at her home. She would die sooner than reveal the revealing truth: a jumble of old metal bed frames that block the stairwell, and rusty, broken kettles that flow into the garden from the kitchen.
Piles of unopened letters, received some decades ago, and newspaper clippings dominated the sitting room. The bath, the home of her father Bert’s collection of wood waste, was unusable.
“As a child I always knew something was wrong,” Cherry, now 55, recalls. “My father would save everything with the intention of resolving it or using it at some point. The problem was that he never lost anything. “
Hoarding disorder is three times more likely in adults over 55 years of age. Yet studies show that symptoms usually occur in the teenage years (stock image)
The issue came to a head when her mother Ruth died in 2009.
Cherry, who lives in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, decided to help her father solve the house. She remembers: “The garden was an eyesore and some rooms were impossible to enter. He had kept insurance letters and papers from the 1950s. He was not happy that I cleaned up or searched something, and he got quite upset when I suggested throwing something away. Then I realized the seriousness of his problem. “
At the time, there was no formal diagnosis to explain Cherry’s strange behavior. But in retrospect she believes that her father, who has since died, suffered from a psychiatric disorder called ham disorder.
STEREOT TYPES ARE CRUEL … AND FALSE
Officially recognized by the NHS in 2013, it is thought that up to three million Britons suffer to some extent from the condition, which is characterized by a persistent difficulty in getting rid of or relinquishing possessions.
Of course we all have trouble giving up certain trinkets that bring us back to a precious moment in time.
But other signs of hoarding disorder are anxiety at the thought of getting rid of the items, and an excessive – often unmanageable – accumulation, regardless of value. Everyday life can be difficult because of the amount. Rooms become inaccessible and patients often refuse to seek help because they are ashamed of the problem.
As a result of her father’s condition, Rainbow founded Rainbow Red, an organization that helps hundreds of families discover the signs of hoarding. Cherry says: “Daddy has never been diagnosed, but there are treatments and solutions that can improve the quality of life.”
THE WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK AT
If one of the following situations applies to you or a loved one, this may be a sign of hoarding …
1 Difficulties to stop collecting things and buying at home.
2 A large number of possessions that prevent normal use of living spaces.
3 Safety hazards due to defective equipment.
4 Worries and worries about change.
5 Family or friends who have threatened to take matters into their own hands.
6 Indecision about what to do to make things better.
7 Becoming secret about a person’s living situation.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, complete the full test – available on the Rainbow Red website – and bring it to your doctor, who will refer you to a specialized mental health team.
More information at rainbowred.co.uk.
So how should we know when harmless collection becomes a clinical condition? Rainbow Red has developed a self-diagnostic checklist to help patients and loved ones recognize the warning signs. We have reprinted a version of it in the upper right panel so that you can see if you or a loved one may be affected.
“People can check the boxes of the statements that apply to them and even take the form of their doctor who should be able to give advice,” says Cherry. The so-called “icebreaker” form also contains images of chaotic houses for comparison.
Several leading hamster groups and NHS clinics have now adopted the checklist.
IT IS FREQUENTLY SEEN IN TEEN
Ham disorder is three times more likely in adults over 55 years of age. Yet studies show that symptoms usually occur during the teenage years. Many have always shown hoarding behavior, struggling to give up useless objects and the clutter builds up over a number of years.
“People often save things because they think they can be useful somewhere in the future,” says Linda Fay of Life-Pod, an organization that supports people with hoarding behavior. Nearly 70 percent of patients are women and 85 percent are unmarried and live alone, according to a 2014 American study.
Hoarding was supposed to be a manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD – where obsessive thoughts stimulate repetitive, uncontrollable behavior.
But recent studies have shown that it is a mental illness in itself.
Dr. Tom Graham, a psychologist from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, explains: “Brains” brains can process information differently than others. They become emotional during decision making, making it difficult for them to choose which objects they want to keep and which they want to throw away. “
Dr. Graham, who runs weekly support groups for hoarding, says there are also a number of common underlying causes.
“Many suffered a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one in early life. Objects are like a safety blanket – they are reliable and remain the same. “
If you have a close relative with a ham disorder, you are more likely to develop it.
“People who are raised with a” make do and mend “attitude are more vulnerable,” Dr. Graham. Linda, who organizes weekly interventions, says: “Many of my customers have experienced a period of hardship. They are afraid that they will lose everything again.”
Hoarding (stock image) was considered a manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD – where obsessive thoughts stimulate repetitive, uncontrollable behavior. But recent studies have shown that it is a mental illness in itself
YOU CANNOT FORCE A SOLUTION
Resist the temptation to make others sound, the experts say.
“Forced cleansing can feel like cutting off a limb or losing some of it,” says Linda. “It’s traumatic and can make them feel even more isolated.”
Cherry hopes that her checklist will help people at the very end recognize when they need serious medical treatment.
But for the vast majority with moderate hoarding behavior, the advice is to be careful. Cherry says: “Most don’t want to recognize a problem and force them to do it, don’t work to get them involved. Try to use motivational tactics instead. Maybe they want their grandchildren to visit more often, or they want friends to come over. Imagine that cleaning up these things would help them achieve these goals. “
And sometimes, when there is no danger, it is better to admit defeat. Cherry says: “The most important thing is that the person is happy and healthy. If so, try not to focus on things. And always look carefully before you throw things away. We found the medal of my grandfather from Gallipoli – we never knew he was there. “
What is the difference between a cyst and a tumor?
Both are nodules that may look and feel the same, but they are quite different.
A cyst is a bag-like growth of tissue in the body or in the skin that is filled with fluid, air or other material.
Cysts are found in the breasts or ovaries and can have many causes, but most are nothing to worry about and do not indicate the presence of cancer.
Tumors form when the cells of the body continue to divide when they should not, which leads to an accumulation of solid tissue.
Some are benign, meaning that they only form in one place, but malignant tumors are cancerous and can spread in the neighborhood.
A cyst (photo) is a bag-like growth of tissue in the body or in the skin that is filled with fluid, air or other material