Showing posts from July 31, 2011

More about hoarding...from a COH perspective

I've been very fortunate to meet and work with some fantastic people over the last two years, including trips to the Mental Health Association-San Francisco's Hoarding and Cluttering Conference last March , and more recently the International OCD Foundation Annual Conference just last weekend in San Diego. Because of this, I've sat in on many speeches about hoarding, the most recent research, and because I grew up with a hoarder, I am an expert on my mother's hoarding. I realize that the viewpoints on the internet are skewed horribly. It's easy to say really harsh, mean things when one is protected by an alias, avatar, and a computer screen. And yet, since I see so many inaccurate statements made about hoarding, I thought I would share what I've pieced together from the research, my experiences, and my mother's admissions.

Research Project: COH, growing up in the hoard

Given the press that is going out today regarding tonight's 20/20 piece on children of hoarders, I thought it would be a great time to share again: Dr. Suzanne Chabaud -- one of the therapists who specializes in OCD and hoarding , and is regularly a part of "Hoarders"--is conducting a research study on the effects on children who grow up with a hoarding parent. At this point, there has been very little (read...almost none) research on the effects to the family. It would seem easy to say, "Duh...this should be HAS to have an effect...", but science doesn't work that way. Dr. Chabaud has already done phase one of her research, but the next part is a larger format survey, and she is still actively seeking participants who would be willing to complete an anonymous survey. I hope that YOU will consider being a part of this landmark study. [I know it might seem science is going to collect this data and drop it neatl

ABC's 20/20 TOMORROW night: Children of Hoarders

Obviously, I am excited by the ABC 20/20 segment coming up tomorrow night ! Jessie Sholl, the author of "Dirty Secret" --a memoir about growing up with a hoarding parent (HP) and I have become friend "virtual friends" via Facebook and the Children of Hoarders website and related Yahoo! group . Also, Jason Brunet ( Three Ninjas' musician and son of "Hoarders" participant, Augustine) will be featured on the segments. Slowly but surely, our story--the story of what happens when children grow up with stuff that is more important than they are, with parents whose mental health isn't just quite there, whose homes are filthy, cluttered, and sometimes infested--is being shared. I personally believe that without shows like "Hoarders" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive" , the public would not be ready or willing to hear our stories. Our stories are not neat and tidy; they are not fairy tales; they are not pretty; they stink, they invoke a


Since the new group starts next Tuesday, I felt like repeating the information on Awareness Day was apropos. I hope that if this describes you or someone you know, you will join us. NEXT TUESDAY--AUGUST 9TH! A new support/recovery group for children of hoarders (COH) in the Spokane area. It will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month thereafter. Location:  5025 N. Market in Hillyard  Time: 7:00pm until 8:30pm . For more info call: 509-434-8874 Email: There is no cost to be a part of the group, although donations will be accepted to offset the cost of using the facility.