- Posted November 30, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What are you watching?
Hoarders: The Show That Made Me Want To Clean A Closet
Last weekend I didn't feel like doing much - Turkey overload, perhaps? Whatever the cause - I hibernated and indulged in massive amounts of reality television.
Hoarders is a show I had previously avoided. I thought I understood the premise. I am ashamed to say I believed it was just a show about a bunch of lazy people who didn't clean their house - it didn't appeal to me. But during my weekend of total indulgence I finally watched an episode. Fascinated - one episode turned into a two season blitz.
All I can say is - WOW. After about six episodes I started to feel very ,very bad. I wasn't sure if this was okay - watching seriously ill people grapple with the devastating effects of Hoarding. I really felt uncomfortable watching. Each episode centers on two individuals or families affected by a Hoarding Disorder. From Senior Citizens to younger couples and everything in between - these people are facing evictions,homes being condemned, children and pets being taken away and bankruptcy in addition to serious health matters.
Working with a team of therapists, organizers and a crew of cleaners the "Hoarder" is encouraged to acknowledge their illness, and for most, their secret ungodly messes. People with this affliction buy, collect and save various types of items, merchandise or just actual trash. Their homes become literally filled with "stuff" to the point that normal function is not possible.
Homes with animals roaming freely amongst the hoard are particularly gruesome. In one home alone - more than 4 dead cats in various states of decomposition were uncovered. Another home had over 1500 pet rats inside. The level of grossness is completely mind boggling. The episodes involving the elderly or children living in such conditions were simply heartbreaking. I am not even going to list some of the shocking things shoveled out of these homes.
At the end of most episodes you do get the sense that the experience was ultimately positive for the person/family involved. Some, however, seem hopeless and lost to their illness. I learned in one episode that research is being done into the causes of this disorder and that several genes were being looked at. Clearly - this is an illness. It goes way beyond just being "lazy".
I can't say that I am a "fan" of the show because I don't want to sound like I am entertained by the pain I witnessed. I have been educated by the show and I think that is far more important. The therapists and crews dealing with the Hoarders are respectful and appear to genuinely care about all involved.