Hoarders and Questions

Watch an episode of Hoarders on A&E, Netflix, or YouTube

Assignment #1: Hoarders


Hoarders: I Don’t Take Showers Here Anymore | Full Episode (S8, E13) | A&E


LEN not Sandy


  1. Summarize the episode from an OT’s clinical perspective. Include observed characteristics or signs of hoarding. Do you suspect that there may be other diagnosable mental health disorders/conditions? Why?
    1. Suffers with obsession and compulsion with trash bags
    2. Possible PTSD
      1. Suffered traumas early in life seems to have led to feelings of loneliness and depression
      2. Depression never treated led to hoarding
        1. It seems like not wanting others to be too close in his personal because he may be afraid of losing them
        2. Using hoarding as a coping mechanism and as an excuse to not let people in


  1. Assess how the individual’s disorder is affecting their physical, psychosocial and occupational functioning. Identify supporting and inhibiting factors for each of the specific contexts/environments surrounding this individual (cultural, personal, temporal, virtual, social environment, physical environment).
    1. Home could have poor ventilation due to the massive amounts of clutter
      1. Trash could be hidden places, mold could be places, plumbing issues
      2. Could be dead rodents and insects throughout
  • Lead to poor breathing
  1. Cannot complete his daily occupations properly
    1. I.e bathing, grooming, preparing meals
    2. Lead to bad diet
  2. The hoarding has caused friction between him and family
    1. Cannot invite people over, can lead to decline in social skills
  3. Cultural
    1. Supports
      1. There is a bad stigma in the African American community with mental health disorders. It is not to be discussed and is seen as weak, or nonexistence. This supports that it is very real in this community and is not a huge problem
    2. Inhibits
      1. Because you can physically see how this mental disorder is affecting him, it inhibits from being overlooked and pushed aside
    3. Personal
      1. Supports to change
        1. Health issues support his understanding in changing
        2. Family support him getting the help he needs and making sure he maintains it
      2. Inhibits to change
        1. With him being older it’s easier to remain in his ways especially with his traumas happening many years ago
        2. Not being able to work so he has more time to spend hoarding
      3. Temporal
        1. He knew he was running out of time to get the help needs due to his health issues and his family was beginning to get fed up.
        2. Supports
  • Inhibits
  1. Virtual
    1. Inhibits change
      1. He didn’t’ really talk to his family much virtual that could inable him to isolate himself and hoard
    2. Supports change
      1. But technology could help support him staying connected and accountable to not hoard
    3. Social Environment
      1. Support change
        1. Family was there to let him know there is a problem and to support him through it
      2. Inhibit change
        1. However, family also enabled him by allowing him to use resources at their homes knowing he couldn’t do much
        2. Being isolated
      3. Physical Environment
        1. Inhibits change
          1. It was his home and he had plenty access to buy bags and things to pile it up
        2. Supports change
          1. Was not able to complete much due to the excessive clutter, no where to rest, cook, entertain


  1. According to the level of insight specifiers covered in class, which level of insight would you associate with the individual chronicled? Why?
    1. Good or fair
      1. He could it was a problem but didn’t realize how much it was truly affecting the people around him ; also it was hard to admit because he was comfortable in his state
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