My mother has had this problem ever since I can remember. The house was always so filthy and I learned never to invite friends over. I still panic when I hear a doorbell. Now that I am out of the house and married, she has gotten worse. She hides inside her house and mainly lies in bed. She goes to work at a job she has had for over 20 years. Her mental health issues are threatening her job. I can't convince her to document her medical issues. She is on several medications and needs to be back in therapy. I know the meds. will only go so far without talking.
I want to know some general info about hoarding and why people live in filth (sometimes as bad as dog feces collecting). I've been through it all with her. I was angry that she was wasting away, not being a mother and was going to die in her home. I was convinced I'd be the one to find her and she would leave me all alone to clean up her horrible mess. I'm less angry and more hopeful as I have grown to be a happy person as an adult. I motivate her, challenge her, trust her, and give her more love and encouragement then I ever have. I don't know how to help her. I don't understand her, but I believe in mental illness and I believe in treatment. I just dont know what the big first step needs to be, besides seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.