Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sites I Like #7: Children of Hoarders

I guess I never realized how ashamed I should have been (by society's standards) of the state of my house. I'm still not ashamed, because I know that it's not entirely my responsibility. But I found an interesting site for the community of children of hoarders.

Today's site: Children of Hoarders

The subtitle of the site says "for the adult children of compulsive hoarders," but I think it's useful for anyone connected to a compulsive hoarder. There are numerous videos on the site, including "Possessed," which I posted about before, showcasing the long-term emotional turmoil that clutter brings with it. The site is just full of resources, and I think it's great that this exists just like communities exist for children of Alzheimer's patients and alcoholics.

There is a well-run forum, too, so you get the full experience of empathy and support. One board in the forum mentions P.I.S.S., which stands for Post-Intervention Stress Syndrome, an unofficial disorder discussed by the COH community. "P.I.S.S." was coined by a COH member and is brought on by the significant anti-climax that comes at the end of a de-cluttering undertaking. Interesting, and what a catchy acronym...

For me, the fact that I couldn't invite people over during my childhood wasn't embarrassing; it was just something that was. It was a fact of life: all my friends could have me over, but having people over at my apartment just wasn't done after about third grade. My friends were all polite about it, but I'm sure they sensed that something bad was the reason they never saw the inside of my home.

And now, the main trouble of having clutter is the tension between my mother and me. It's hard to actually de-clutter without having a fight most times. But now I know I'm not the only one who has had this experience!

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Back Garage said...

So do people only suffer from PISS if they've been "confronted," or do you suffer even if you started the project yourself?

Alexandra said...

I think it goes both ways, from what I understand. In fact, I think it's supposedly more prominent in the latter case (people who started the project themselves). But still, it's mostly a made up disorder. :P

Rose said...

I'm a casting producer for Clean House which airs on The Style Network and we're looking for people with hoarding and serious clutter issues to be on our show. If anyone here is interested in receiving more info, please email me at

Steven Kurutz said...

Hi Alexandra,

I'm a reporter working on a story about being a child of a hoarder. I came across your blog and wondered if I could interview you. I can be reached at:


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