Question: How do you talk someone with OCD (hoarding) into getting some help? How do you help the family that wont talk about the problem? Should it be allowed to go on or should they just ignore the problem that has been going on for 16 years?
Answer 1: Hoarding is a difficult problem to treat in part because the people who do it usually are very reluctant to work on the problem. If asked I would clearly want to work with the family to try to get them involved in working with the hoarder to deal with this problem. When you ask if it should be allowed I am guessing you mean should the hoard be disposed of against the hoarders will. The answer to this is generally no. It will only lead to a lot of anger and distress and not stop the hoarding from occurring. Continued near the bottom of this page.
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Answer 2: Trying to talk people into something they don’t want to do is pretty much a waste of energy. Usually a problem has to get bad enough or the consequences have to be too painful before someone is willing to change. If the behavior is having an effect on you, the only thing that can be changed is how you respond to it, rather than expecting that someone else will change or somehow “see the light.” I have a cartoon that says, “people don’t change because they see the light, but because they feel the heat.”
Answer 3: Unfortunately, you can’t help everybody. Not everyone is ready or willing to be helped at a particular time. I suppose you can give them information and let them decide for themselves. Otherwise, there isn’t much you can do if they won’t even talk about it. Some families deal with problems by ignoring them and hoping they will go away if ignored. It really isn’t up to anyone to “allow” a problem to go on or not. It is strictly up to the person with the problem. They are the only one with any control over it. You can’t change what you cannot accept. Best regards!
Answer 4: You’re describing extremely difficult situation. You can confront people only up to some point about your belief that they should get treatment, but ultimately it is their responsibility. Particularly if the family itself won’t talk about the problem, I’m not sure if you can have any other options, then just avoiding or living with the situation, it is not an easy place to be.