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Q&A With Mental Health Professionals

Q. My elderly friend has a serious clutter problem. She can’t throw things away or organize them, and her apartment is so stuffed that it is hard to get around. She has tried herbs, hypnosis, and sessions with so-called experts, but nothing works. Could you explain this problem and describe how she can be helped?

A. 8/21/2006-Harvard Health Publications
By Michael Craig Miller, M.D. Editor in Chief

Q.  I have a friend who doesn’t like to throw away things. He keeps stuff like empty medicine bottles (approximately 100), 20-year-old bank statements, magazines (some 300 issues), paper (six file cabinets and over 20 boxes), clothes as old as 30 years, and so on. I suggested he throw them away but he gets very angry at my suggestion. It got to the point that his girlfriend left him because of his habit. Is this something that I should be concerned with? Is there a cure for his behavior?

A. 7/9/2007-Psychology Today
Hoarding: Trash as Treasure

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