- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: New Harbinger Publications (2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 157224349X
- ISBN-13: 978-1572243491
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop Paperback – 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
The Collyer brothers, with their bicycle-, chandelier- and newspaper-packed Harlem apartment, may have been the most famous sufferers of compulsive hoarding (see the recent biography Ghosty Men by Franz Lidz), but this syndrome affects several million Americans, according to the authors of this excellent, easy-to-understand handbook. The authors, two psychologists and a psychiatrist, all experts in treating forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, define the syndrome as "the acquisition and saving of possessions that have little or no value" or a value perceived only by the hoarder, who "has great difficulty" discarding the objects. The book offers case histories showing how damaging the syndrome can be to ones relationships and quality of life, self-assessment exercises and, most usefully, a discussion of treatment options, from self-help strategies using cognitive therapy to outside professional help.
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A book cannot cure someone who is unwilling to look at it, BUT the answers are in this book if you are willing to look.
It may also be true that there is too much material on the psychology of hoarding. But I think most of it is valuable and necessary as a lead in to Chapter Six, which is where the real hands-on, "get 'er done" action starts. Having a strong background in psychology, I found the first five chapters a little redundant and heavy on the self-awareness trip. But when I hit Chapter Six, I was excited -- thrilled, actually -- by the action plan. And what ultimately matters is that for me and people like me, IT WORKS.
Whatever flaws the book may have, it's still the one I recommend to people I encounter with cluttering/hoarding problems.
I don't think anyone with full on OCD, who has been a hoarder for years, would or could take this book to heart - the compulsion is just too strong, and denial is a main component - but if you fear for someone else, or feel yourself developing a problem please pick this book up.
Less than a month later I'm already changing my life - and I've realized that all those attempts I made to change that family member were bound to fail. I now have real tools (from the psychological theories of Cognitive thinking to a list of things I should and should have stashed in my nightstand) at my disposal to help them and myself.