Hoarding Research Paper

1425 Words6 Pages
COM 102-037/Mrs. Grisolano
Research Paper
April 29, 2013 Hoarding: Buried Alive
Until a few years ago, a lady who was known to collect cats would have been called “the crazy cat lady.” Houses that were filled with endless amounts of stuff were referred to as “cluttered, filthy, or a pen sty.” As of today, those expressions have been replaced with the coined terms: “hoarder or compulsive hoarding.” What is hoarding? “Compulsive hoarding is a specific type of behavior marked by acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others, severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a
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By 1942, Langley collected massive amounts of newspapers, cartons, tin cans and other items. In the process of collecting endless amounts of possessions, he started to not take care of his brother. Autopsies state that Homer’s body was extremely emaciated and dehydrated; it is indicated that he had nothing to drink or eat for at least three days before his death which lead to chronic bronchitis, gangrenous decubital ulcer (bedsore) and pulmonary emphysema. On March 21, 1947, the NYPD received an anonymous call that there was a dead body in the Collyer house. Upon entering, the NYPD discovered the house to be completely filled with rat-infested piles and stacks of junk and trash. Around noon, officers forced open a second-floor window upon which they discovered the dead body of Homer. In the process of cleaning up the house, Langley was nowhere to be found. In total they removed one hundred and three tons of waters before discovering Langley’s body; he had been buried alive under the rubbish.
As of right now, compulsive hoarding is considered by many researchers to be a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but to some people compulsive hoarding may also be related to impulsive control disorders, social anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. What causes this mental illness? According to the Department of Psychiatry, compulsive hoarding may be hereditary; up to 85% of people with compulsive hoarding can identify another family
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