Hoarding disorders linked to mental health issues; task force created to address cases

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 08:11:33-04

TULSA – Around 35,000 people in Tulsa County reportedly struggle with a hoarding disorder, and now a task force is working towards helping them recover. 

2 Works for You sat down with a woman who says she has a hard time getting rid of things because of her childhood, when she was forced to constantly move around. To protect this woman’s privacy, we have changed her name to Jane.

"Things that were unpleasant or perhaps we had to move and leave things behind,” said Jane.

Jane said each item she keeps has potential.

"I'm also a very creative person so I see possibilities with things that others can't see until a project is completed,” said Jane.

According to the Senior Life Services Hoarding Task Force, 40 percent of hoarders also hoard animals.

"With the animals they intend to care for them and find good homes for them and then something may happen. There may be another condition that interferes with what they actually intended,” said Behavioral Health Consultant Mary Hardy.

Task force officials said many people with hoarding issues also deal With ADHD, depression and anxiety.

"There is some compulsion, if you will, and people may not be able to control what's going on,” said Hardy.

Jane said support groups help her to learn how to determine what items are worth of keeping and what items have to be let go.

“Some of this is just a matter of organization. That I could organize things better in the space that I have,” said Hardy.

To find out more about the Senior Services Hoarding Task Force support groups call 918.664.9000.

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