Hoarder rummaging through refuse bins in Southport Town Centre

In this day and age you wouldn’t expect to see a hoarder rummaging through refuse bins in pouring rain in Southport town centre.

Compulsive hoarding (or pathological collecting) is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that would sometimes seemingly qualify as useless or without value.  But this hoarder who is worth an estimated million pounds continues to hoard items and disregards her own health whilst accumulating possessions. As you can see in the photographs, her ankles are swollen, wrapped in dirty wet newspapers and plastic bags.

Why isn’t the local authority doing anything to help this person, surley the issue here is an health risk? (FACT: this person is known to the authorities)

New research suggests that hoarders have unique patterns of brain activity when faced with making decisions about their possessions, compared with healthy people. And despite the fact that hoarding has traditionally been seen as a symptom or subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), brain activity in those who cannot de-clutter is also distinct from that of people with typical OCD, the study shows.

Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members.  When clinically significant enough to impair functioning, hoarding can prevent typical uses of space so as to limit activities such as cooking, cleaning, moving through the house, and sleeping. 

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