What we know about hoarding from the research is based on treatment seeking women. Despite the 50/50 gender split we know very little about hoarding behaviour amongst men. More significantly, we (the research and clinical communities) know nothing about those with severe hoarding who have no insight into the damaging nature of their behaviours. This is a huge blind spot and sore point in the hoarding help community.
What is most concerning to me, as a researcher and clinician, is when colleagues continue to shut down conversations with children of hoarders because their perspective is different. Further, continuing to label children raised by people who hoard as difficult and rejecting of their parents, when childhood neglect and abuse is their truth is unconscionable.
Why do I say that? Because, we know nothing about those who never seek help or participate in research! These are the ones whose children contact me in distress and despair because their parents are living in dangerous hoards and refuse to change.
Before suggesting any course of action experts in the area should ask those with lived experience. Not about the person who hoard’s psychological wellbeing but their despairing children’s; adult or not. I’ve learned just how far we have to go for this to occur.