Learning about hoarding: Biggest two reasons are 'depression and post-trauma'

Host of TV show "Hoarders" leading training for case managers to identify the signs of hoarding and how to help those who are struggling

Posted: Jun 21, 2019 12:52 AM
Updated: Jun 21, 2019 7:28 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's the persistent difficulty to throw things away because of a perceived need to hold onto them: hoarding. And in 2013, compulsive hoarding was officially recognized as a mental disorder. But how do you try to get help for someone who suffers with it?

On Thursday, case managers came to the Salvation Army to be trained on what to look for and how to help.

Jennifer Golle is a long-term care ombudsman with the State of Iowa, and primarily works with the elderly.

"We'll deal with folks who use their home as a storage unit, that it's completely full of stuff that they've hoarded."

When she was a case manager, she witnessed some very extreme cases.

"Myself and another guy actually cleaned out - a lady who had mental health - her apartment, it was just a few feet high of junk, garbage. It was Casey's cups, it was empty bottles, papers, newspapers."

At Thursday's training, Golle got the chance to learn about the mental aspects of why people hoard.

"What I have found is that it's the most resistive personality type or issue to get somebody to agree to get help or to change."

Cory Chalmers is one of the hosts of the A&E TV show "Hoarders", now in its 11th season. For 24 years, he's cleaned houses of hoarders with his company Steri-Clean.

"Before I got into this, I never thought I would find hundreds of animals. We've found tens of thousands of dollars, we've even found dead bodies in these hoards. We find everything."

He's educating attendees on why they do it, and underlying behaviors that can cause someone to hoard possessions, as well as the dangers of hoarding (such as fire and health hazards), and how to effectively clean a house.

"The biggest two reasons people hoard are depression and post-trauma. The goal here is to educate people on what to look for in their hoarding clients so we can reverse that."

Until recently, Chalmers says that hoarding wasn't something people didn't openly talk about.

"When the show came out, people realize how many hoarders there were. Now that people are able to talk about it, we can explore resources, educate people like we're doing today on how to truly help people other than just cleaning their house, because we know they're going right back to it if that's all we focus on."

If you know someone that is a hoarder, Chalmers advises to reach out for help.

"Most of the clients that we help we put in a four-step process for after care. If they follow these four, they can completely reverse the 97% recidivism rate that hoarding has."

Experts recommend seeking therapy or a psychologist. In addition, Chalmers' website has a list of resources and suggestions, and if the client is age 60+, Elderbridge is also a resource.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 603614

Reported Deaths: 7596
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1247361769
Ramsey52421894
Dakota46758467
Anoka42679457
Washington27383290
Stearns22542224
St. Louis18112311
Scott17532133
Wright16399148
Olmsted13385102
Sherburne1198694
Carver1065648
Clay825492
Rice8181110
Blue Earth761943
Crow Wing681094
Kandiyohi666785
Chisago618552
Otter Tail585484
Benton582698
Goodhue483373
Douglas475080
Mower470733
Winona460851
Itasca458262
Isanti439564
McLeod428961
Morrison424461
Nobles408150
Beltrami407060
Steele397516
Polk388772
Becker386555
Lyon363953
Carlton352456
Freeborn346832
Pine335023
Nicollet330945
Mille Lacs311554
Brown307940
Le Sueur297025
Todd285532
Cass285432
Meeker263042
Waseca237723
Martin234932
Roseau210721
Wabasha20783
Hubbard195941
Dodge18763
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174016
Cottonwood167224
Wadena162322
Fillmore157410
Faribault154219
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138437
Watonwan13569
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116526
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching94617
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88617
Wilkin83112
Lake82820
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6034
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4017
Traverse3755
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370526

Reported Deaths: 6038
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58181638
Linn21174339
Scott20284245
Black Hawk16057312
Woodbury15228230
Johnson1460485
Dubuque13495211
Dallas1128199
Pottawattamie11213173
Story1070548
Warren583191
Clinton561393
Cerro Gordo552493
Sioux516874
Webster514594
Muscatine4876106
Marshall486276
Des Moines466870
Wapello4334122
Buena Vista426040
Jasper420672
Plymouth402881
Lee381356
Marion365976
Jones300857
Henry294037
Bremer287760
Carroll286752
Boone268334
Crawford267840
Benton258555
Washington257151
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232251
Jackson225242
Clay216527
Kossuth216266
Tama211671
Delaware210942
Winneshiek197835
Page194522
Buchanan193033
Cedar192023
Hardin187344
Fayette186443
Wright185740
Hamilton181751
Harrison179973
Clayton171057
Butler165935
Madison164519
Mills163324
Floyd162842
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek156936
Allamakee152552
Hancock150034
Iowa149824
Winnebago144331
Cass139254
Calhoun138813
Grundy137133
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131437
Sac130820
Union129935
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124517
Franklin123323
Guthrie122932
Humboldt119526
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96332
Monroe96230
Unassigned9530
Ida91635
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola79016
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66712
Fremont6269
Decatur6159
Ringgold56324
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon52810
Adams3444
Rochester
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 67°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 70°
Rain chances return later on this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Rochester man celebrates 50 years of running every day

Image

GMLOKS Girls' Track and Field team wins Section 1A Title

Image

Sienna Debut

Image

Rochester Pools Reopening Monday

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (6/13/21)

Image

Incident near Rushford airport

Image

Fire tears through Rochester mobile home

Image

Fighting hunger in Rochester

Image

Shopping for alcohol during the heatwave

Image

Austin graduate playing his second season with Rochester FC

Community Events