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Polish Hoarders?


PlasticPole  
14 Apr 2011 /  #1
In the US, people who keep everything in their house, never throwing anything away so their house is stacked to the rafters with stuff are called "Hoarders" and are classified as a kind of obsessive-compulsives who need therapy.

Does this condition exist in Poland? Are there hoarders in Polish society who cannot throw anything away, have houses that are piled high with all sorts of stuff, including litter?
beckski  
14 Apr 2011 /  #2
In the US, people who keep everything in their house

Haha, this is so true of many people in the US. I like attending estate sales. Some of the homes that I go to are practically busting at the seams. I need to wear gloves, while sorting through piles of junk, hoping to discover a lost antique treasure :)
Daisy  
14 Apr 2011 /  #3
Here's an old Polish man who lived in London who liked to hoard
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Trebus
mafketis  
14 Apr 2011 /  #4
I imagine it exists, but I'm sure it's far less common in Poland. Polish living conditions just don't lend themselves to hoarding behavior (they run out of rooom quicker).

I can't find it now but there was a trailer for a documentary on a woman dealing with her hoarder mother (who had been born in Poland). They try to draw a link between her childhood of scarcity and her adult inability to disitnguish between garbage and valuables. The local government is threatening to condemn the woman's house and so they perform a stealth cleaning which sends to the mother straight into a mental hospital.....
beckski  
15 Apr 2011 /  #5
They try to draw a link between her childhood of scarcity and her adult inability to disitnguish between garbage and valuables.

You've got a good point there. It seems like some older people, who've grown up in the great depression, eventually become pack rats. Their reasoning... some day you may be in need a particular object. So... they hold on to junk until hell freezes over; or when it's finally sold at an estate sale, after they pass away...
rybnik  
15 Apr 2011 /  #6
you don't have to be old. My wife's from the Phillipines. She grew up very poor. Her hoarding is creating a lot of chaos/tension in my life :( I have given up trying to persuade her to give her stash up. "The Phillipines can use it" is her reply. You wouldn't beleive the stuff she squirrels away!
f stop  
15 Apr 2011 /  #7
Hoarders might be a bit extreme, but most of Americans are just the opposite - disposable society, generating way too much garbage. I believe Polish people are more like my mother (at least the older generation) - she saves plasic bags, reuses old clothes for rags, rarely uses paper napkins, makes her own compost from kitchen scraps, and takes great pride in fixing something instead of throwing it away. She thinks it's more due to common sense, or social responsibility, for a lack of better expression, than the result of living through the war's lean times.
OP PlasticPole  
15 Apr 2011 /  #8
What you describe here, f stop, sounds like hoarding behavior.
Hoarders tend to rationalize their keeping of trash in this way, that it will be recycled or used for crafts. Pretty soon, it adds up and the house is filled with it.

If your mother uses what she recycles and doesn't accumulate, that's not hoarding. If she does keep too many discarded items so her house is difficult for her to live in or hazardous, it becomes a hoarding situation and is thought of as a form of obsessive compulsive behavior, interfering with the quality of life.

Mafketis, thanks for your insight. The condition is linked to traumas suffered in the past. Scarcity or death of a parent are sometimes prominent when someone has this problem. Growing up with very little, or in wartime situations might spark the disorder to develop later in life.
Patrycja19  
15 Apr 2011 /  #9
generating way too much garbage.

in the past, I tend to disagree, because over the last 20 years recycling has been a major
part of our lives and I can say at least 90% if not more in my city recycle and find other uses
there is still alot of waste, but not like it was. and I love it, I take all my tin, aluminum and plastic
cardbord and old paint, batteries, bags the list goes on to the recycling dept in our city.

yeah and all my old clothes that I dont wear go to thrift stores.
mafketis  
15 Apr 2011 /  #10
A few years ago on a radio program a recycling person said that the main purpose of recycling is to make people feel good, it doesn't have much environmental effect one way or another. He was in favor of it, but didn't have any illusions about how helpful it was....

What you describe here, f stop, sounds like hoarding behavior.

I'd say it's proto-hoarding. As long as a person can still throws things away and distinguish between things that have some use and garbage they're not hoarders.

Real hoarders have trouble distinguishing between this

Typically they think their problem is lack of organization rather than an inability to part with stinking, useless garbage.....
Al Packrat  
15 Apr 2011 /  #11
In the US, people who keep everything in their house, never throwing anything away so their house is stacked to the rafters with stuff are called "Hoarders" and are classified as a kind of obsessive-compulsives who need therapy.

Me thinks PP has been watching reality TV shows about this again. :)
You a hoarder, PP?

a hoarding situation and is thought of as a form of obsessive compulsive behavior, interfering with the quality of life.

Scarcity or death of a parent are sometimes prominent when someone has this problem. Growing up with very little, or in wartime situations might spark the disorder to develop later in life.

You're onto something here. My grandfather could have been called a hoarder. He lived through the Depression and wartime and hard times. After he became an old widower and he was lonely and his mind started to deteriorate he began collecting things. And unscrupulous companies that prey on the weak-minded elderly started to inundate him with offers promising "prizes" if he'd buy their trinkets. We were aware of it to a degree but he insisted it wasn't a problem... as piles grew... When he passed away several years ago you could hardly walk through his house but for the paths between piles of worthless junk "prizes", most of it made in China. It took many trips and truckloads and dumpsters to clean the place out.

But it wasn't all junk. He had been a saver for years before that and once we dug through the junk, the place was a treasure trove of antiques, heirlooms and family history. We sold some of the antiques for a pretty penny after distributing some to family members.

So don't be too quick to dismiss saving as just hoarding.

Hoarders tend to rationalize their keeping of trash in this way, that it will be recycled or used for crafts. Pretty soon, it adds up and the house is filled with it.

You're onto something here to. I am a saver (maybe got it from my grandfather). But I only save good stuff! :)
Seriously, my basement might be loaded with stuff but I have a pretty good inventory of what is down there and indeed use much of it. When a friend needs something they often come to me. And I am crafty, and I do use stuff from down there for this. I also hold a yard sale from time to time and often make a killing on my "junk". Last time more than one yard sales veterans said to me that mine was "the best yard sale they had ever been to". And I made a ton of cash. B)

So I don't think all saving can be called "hoarding" or mental decline. The extreme opposite is weird too; someone who has no attachment to things and zero nostalgia is weird, I think. And they're the first ones quick to label any saver a "hoarder". My brother is like this, he has no interest in even valuable old family heirlooms and archives. When we were cleaning out Grandad's house he would have thrown away all the family stuff along with the junk if I hadn't been there to take control.
Bzibzioh  
15 Apr 2011 /  #12
you don't have to be old. My wife's from the Phillipines. She grew up very poor. Her hoarding is creating a lot of chaos/tension in my life :( I have given up trying to persuade her to give her stash up. "The Phillipines can use it" is her reply. You wouldn't beleive the stuff she squirrels away!

You have a serious problem and it's only going to get worse. The most important thing is for you to set the boundary: tell her that she has a certain area to keep her junk (cupboard, cabinet, room, etc.) and if she runs out of that space - it's too bad, everything goes to the garbage. And you have to be ruthless. Otherwise you will end up in unlivable home very soon. And seriously consider therapy for her.
rybnik  
16 Apr 2011 /  #13
I appreciate your concern. Luckily she hasn't inventoried her stash. Part of it gets tossed in the garbage, part I'm selling on Ebay ;) When I've collected a healthy sum of money, I'll hand it over to her. THAT will be the moment of truth.
Bzibzioh  
16 Apr 2011 /  #14
Luckily she hasn't inventoried her stash. Part of it gets tossed in the garbage

If she isn't attached to her junk - that's a very good sign. It means she is not in a serious stage yet. However be careful with a stealth cleaning: she might end up with a panic attack.
rybnik  
16 Apr 2011 /  #15
Panic attack is the least of my worries. I'm afraid she might leave me. I just don't know how she will react. That's why I'm tossing stuff like expired medicines and selling stuff like toys.
Bzibzioh  
16 Apr 2011 /  #16
I'm afraid she might leave me. I just don't know how she will react.

I won't lie: you are in a pickle. I saw couples divorcing over it. Is she a big spender, too?
rybnik  
16 Apr 2011 /  #17
No BUT she can't resist a sale!
Bzibzioh  
16 Apr 2011 /  #18
Ah, one of those. This is very hard to beat. Cut her credit cards leaving her with only one (with a small limit on it). And diligently check the monthly statements. If you and your wife can't figure out how to paddle in the same direction, you'll wind up going in financial circles or ... down the drain.
rybnik  
16 Apr 2011 /  #19
Your aquarian metaphors are cute. wifey works very hard. Cutting her credit cards would be provoking an unnecessary fight. I won't treat her like a child. She truly beleives these things can help her people so, I will enlist the help of her cousin to help us pack and ship these things to the Phillipines.
Bzibzioh  
16 Apr 2011 /  #20
You know her best. I understand that you are avoiding the confrontation as to not rock the boat. But it's obvious that you worry. At least keep your eye on the bills. Good luck!
rybnik  
16 Apr 2011 /  #21
Thanks. Yes I am avoiding it because I'm not at my wits-end yet but I do worry. Thanks for the good wishes. I'm gonna need them :)
beckski  
16 Apr 2011 /  #22
We sold some of the antiques for a pretty penny after distributing some to family members.
So don't be too quick to dismiss saving as just hoarding.

You've hit the nail on the head! That's why I'll be hitting the swap meet and yard sales at 7:00 a.m. this weekend :)
f stop  
17 Apr 2011 /  #23
I think the hoarders that are shown on the TV show are lazy slobs with total lack of organizational skills and most of the time, serious mental problems. I mean, if you can't throw out a wrapper, then you do need help. Gathering stuff that you think will be appreciated in your impoverished home country does not even come close. It can make one feel like they're doing something to help.
isthatu2  
17 Apr 2011 /  #24
who need therapy.

lols.....and still the system grinds on inventing yet another condition to justify DSM V or whatever number its up to now....There will be pills soon for your Doc to sell to you.....

Your kids a bit energetic,therepy then dope him...
Your kids a bit creative,therepy then dope her....
Someone isnt a sheep,therepy then dope them....
Someone thinks they are a sheep,therepy then an operation....
aphrodisiac  
17 Apr 2011 /  #25
the last funny one I have heard of was a syndrome of a shaking leg or something like that, not in DSM yet, but who know;)
rybnik  
17 Apr 2011 /  #26
The restless leg syndrome".......it's not in DSM because it's not a psychiatric disorder.
aphrodisiac  
17 Apr 2011 /  #27
oh, yah, that one lol thanks for clarification:)

I get this syndrome of hitting somebody with a frying pan, but then I just fry away lol
Patrycja19  
17 Apr 2011 /  #28
serious mental problems.

it is serious.. I agree, there are lazy slobs, but have you seen the one lady who said sour cream is
already sour so why throw it away?? when they opened the lid I about barfed

yeah, its definately mental, but prob a form of depression as well. like they gave up on life and
if you notice, no one wants to upset them. so what happens when they get upset?

one of my cousins is getting this way, her dad died, her husband left her for another woman who
died, she lost her job due to the pain from the headaches she was getting and she had stolen
meds ( she was caught) she was a nurse.. her mom was the cleanest lady on earth. never a crumb
on anything, so why she is like this? the last time I was over her house ( she lives a block away)
was last year and it was very messy, dishes all over.. almost what you see on tv.

I was told by my cousin ( her brother) to just let it go.. WHY??? its not like I cant go over and
do a overhaul cause I would.. but whether she would like me as her cousin again might be
why.. I want to help her, but... I am not sure how to approach her.

anyways.. there is a difference I think. cause my friends cousin, they had garbage bags in the house
full of garbage ( so it made it in the garbage) but they just didnt clean!!!
isthatu2  
17 Apr 2011 /  #29
Dont get me wrong, someone who hoards "usefull" stuff is not in the league of say that photo comparison.
The latter probably do need help,but help with what ever the root cause is not some new made up "condition"...
One is an ecentricity the other is a sign of something deeper for sure.
And its rarely a lack of inteligence either,think of the classic profesors room.......
On the other hand,obssesive cleaners,now they are fcukin bonkers....:)
Patrycja19  
17 Apr 2011 /  #30
On the other hand,obssesive cleaners,now they are fcukin bonkers....:)

lol shut up, is there no making you happy??

I will have you know , that I know people that know people that are right in the middle of neither
here nor there, so there!!

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