If you walked in the fifth flat on Philmore Avenue, the last thing you’d find is legroom. Stacks of boxes, books, bags and any other entity known to man can be found just in the hallway of this bizarrely looking apartment. You think it couldn’t get any worse?
Just as you thought that was a clutter, squeezing in through the front room couldn’t possibly be the most awful experience of entering someone’s residence. Abruptly to your left, right and centre is perhaps more than your naked eye can absorb. Masses of boxes, piled possessions, shelves brimming with things you didn’t even know existed. It then hits you. You’re right in the middle of a hoarder’s house. You didn’t think setting foot inside a house was ever going to be this hard.
Belonging to 58 year old Ralph Gosling, this property is known to be one of 5% of Britain’s homes owned by compulsive hoarders. Hoarding is a symptom of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) whereby a person may have a fear of having their items contaminated or taken away. A hoarder usually has adversity in parting with their belongings despite its value. It is an unforeseen issue that several people face, lasting a whole lifetime.
The oxford dictionary defines hoarding as “someone who tends to hoard, gather or accumulate things”. Many people living in England today are not fully aware that some types of excessive hoarding can be categorised as a mental health disorder.
You may cling onto your favourite fashion magazines, seize the sea shells you once collected as a child, even nestle notebooks from high school, however compulsive hoarding is much more than this… it’s a severe anxiety disorder. Many fail to realise the severity of this desolated illness. Hoarding can have detrimental effects whether it is physical, emotional, financial or social. Not only does it affect the individual, it can greatly influence the lives of a hoarders’ family member, their friends or even neighbours.
Mr. Gosling, possibly being one out of 1.2 million people in the UK alone, has been diagnosed with compulsive hoarding. It harshly affects individuals, since hoarded items become inconvenience in daily activities. Stereotypically, many people would class hoarded items as meaningless or rubbish. Define it as garbage but to some, it’s much much more than that. Common items to hoard may include: newspapers, magazines, bags, boxes, photos, food and clothing.
It is common to mistake compulsive hoarding with collecting. Researchers have studied that implications of compulsive hoarding can develop from an early age of 11 onwards. Children have a tendency to collect stamps, marbles or stickers however they don’t usually interfere with day to day activities. Until a person enters adulthood, compulsive hoarding isn’t as problematic during younger...