My brother’s a hoarder, with $16,000 in credit card debt alone.
He’s single, no children. He works in a shipping department and makes adequate money with good benefits.
His grooming’s appalling and he lives in a filthy apartment – boxes, balls of dust/cat fur, and garbage are everywhere.
He lived with our elderly mother, who gave him thousands of dollars till she died in 2009.
He’s always been odd but previously loveable. Now he’s always angry and resentful.
I’ve tried to be supportive, along with our other brother, who’s tried to keep him on a budget and paid his bills for him.
Months ago he refused to even empty his mailbox of bills. We bowed out at his request.
He was recently threatened with eviction when the superintendent entered the apartment to replace a toilet (building upgrade).
He was given three days to clean up, and he panicked. But he wouldn't part with anything. The issue’s still being fought.
He refuses to get a psychiatric assessment. He has some level of autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (I am a nurse).
Where can I get help?
Hoarding’s one of the most difficult behaviour disorders to change.
You may, unfortunately, find that it’s a crisis issue – e.g. an eviction – that upsets him enough to require hospitalization for anxiety/depression, etc.
That’s when mental health professionals will be involved.
A plan may then be put into place, which may even include his brother getting power of attorney over his finances to forestall more debt.
It won’t be easy, but he’s lucky to have two siblings involved and caring about him.
Dear Readers - If you’ve had experience with a hoarder in the family, send in your stories and any helpful suggestions.
I went through a painful breakup a year ago, and haven’t recovered. I spend sleepless nights thinking about my ex-partner.
He decided to end our relationship since he didn’t see a future for us (mostly due to our age difference). I was very shocked and saddened.
I still think about the "what ifs…" because I still love him very much.
I’ve tried my best to move on. My professional life is better than ever, and I have a strong support system of family and friends.
I’m learning to put my values and myself first, regarding doing new things and dating new people.
I even moved apartments, and took up a new hobby.
However, I still think about him every day and my heart can't take it any more!
I haven’t contacted him at all since our breakup, but I’ve admittedly "creeped" him, and learned that he’s in a new relationship now.
It hurts so much to know he’s with another woman. I want to respect his decision, but I also want to be selfish and tell him that I still love him.
Does he feel the same way? Does he really love this new woman the way he did me?
Should I contact him? Or should I just let this go?
Wishing and Wondering
“Creeping” him is disturbingly close to stalking… following his life through his profile updates on Facebook, etc.
Reacting to this by reaching out to him, could truly creep him out.
If you want him to respect you, do NOT contact him. Continue to rely on your supportive people and successful work, to move forward with your life.
Hanging onto “what-ifs” is a waste of time and energy. It leads to feeling needy and acting desperate.
He’s over it. Confronting him would only be more hurtful and self-defeating.
Today I visited a church for the first time in nine years, and after a moment of prayer, I've decided to take a break from God and Religion.
But I'm not sure if I made the right decision, or how to tell my family about my new decision.
What do you think about it?
You apparently made a similar decision nine years ago, so it’s likely your family’s long been aware of your feelings.
You call it “a break” rather than a final cut-off, so you can say that you’ve left room for re-thinking and/or changing your mind in the future.
However, if that encourages them to keep asking you about it, you may have to be clearer about why you want to stay away from formal observance of religion.
Since you care about their feelings, also be clear that this doesn’t affect your respect for their having faith.
Tip of the day:
Dealing with a hoarder often requires professional mental-health help.