There is a difference between someone who doesn’t want to throw out his or her old concert T-shirts and someone who keeps so many things, it affects his or her health. The latter is compulsive hoarding disorder.One in 50 Singaporeans will exhibit this behaviour in their lifetime, which accounts for about two per cent of Singapore’s adult population, according to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in 2010. What is it like living with someone who has the disorder? We spoke to Anne (not her real name), who is currently a third-year university student. She spent her childhood and teenage years living with a mother who’s a compulsive hoarder. 1. NO ONE WANTS TO CONFRONT THE HOARDERThe result is never pleasant as trying to clear away the hoarder’s stuff can result in physical and emotional violence, said Anne. “When we had visitors on Chinese New Year, many had to stand or hang out in the corridor. But they would pretend nothing was wrong.”Whenever Anne broached the subject of clearing out the house, her father would get upset. Sometimes, he’d stay out for days because he didn’t want a showdown with his wife. It is probably a good move as he had a heart attack before and such confrontations wouldn’t be good for his health, Anne said.“But it’s… Read full this story
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