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That show on tv: "Hoarders"
Old 10-03-2010, 10:11 PM   #1
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That show on tv: "Hoarders"

Is it just me? Must be cause the show is still going, so someone is watching it; but I find that tv show Horders so repugnant that I have the same reaction to it that I do when those sad, pathetic ads for the SPCA come on. (Who can look at those innocent and abused animals and not get upset?) I have to just turn away or leave the room.
Same with this show Horders for me. I just have to turn away but for a different reason. Just too repulsive to think people really live that way.
Can someone tell me what the fascination is with looking at the filth people live in? I must be missing the thrill of it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:29 PM   #2
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IMO, looking at train wrecks enables some people to feel good about themselves...seeing this type of thing makes their lives look less crappy.

....for others it's like road kill...they just can't look away.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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What bothers me is that the team of psychologists and organizers come in and the whole process is such torture and then many times they don't have enough time to finish. So few episodes show success. They make progress but it feels incomplete.

I've watched some of these and I'm struck with the "mental illness" component of this. It's not laziness or bad habits or someone who is too busy. It's truly a mental illness that they cannot see what they are living in and are so stuck in inaction that they will just keep accumulating stuff.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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Is it just me or has reality TV sunk to new lows. Hoarding is truly awful but the commercials for "Sister wives " makes me want to smack the TV. Except for HGTV they can eliminate the rest of the garbage that is filling the airs .
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:57 AM   #5
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Is it just me or has reality TV sunk to new lows.
No, it's not only you.

Look at the series that show folks that abuse alcohol/drugs, and the damage done to themselves and their families.

It's cheap entertainment (e.g. inexpensive to produce) and there are plenty of people looking to "express themselves" in a manner that I certainly would not.

Reality TV = Cheap TV, or more correctly, quantity over quality...
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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I'm guessing reality shows will now be going through the book of human disorders - OCD, ADD, sexual addictions, phobias etc.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:49 AM   #7
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IMO, looking at train wrecks enables some people to feel good about themselves...seeing this type of thing makes their lives look less crappy.

....for others it's like road kill...they just can't look away.
Exactly. That's why we love linked articles that show people spending their money foolishly or w*rking until they drop.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Having no TV, this is the phrase that comes to mind about nearly all mass entertainment available these days: Defining Deviancy Down

From an article by J. Dirske:
“Defining deviancy down” is a commonly known phrase coined by the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1993, Moynihan wrote a report entitled, "How We've Become Accustomed to Alarming Levels of Crime and Destructive Behavior," in response to the sharp increase of violent deaths apart of the so-called “culture of crime” in the early 1990s.


The report’s subtitle stated above explains the result of the concept of “defining deviancy down.” Moynihan argues that American culture and politics, with an increase in deviant behavior, redefines deviance and lowers the “normal” level of deviancy warranted by the increase in such behavior. In layman’s terms, with an increase in violent behavior, some crimes become normal and only extraordinary crimes are of interest to us.


I think this is easily applied to such forms of entertainment and again am grateful I've never seen this show or the equally annoying concept called Dancing with the stars. Ugh!
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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What bothers me is that the team of psychologists and organizers come in and the whole process is such torture and then many times they don't have enough time to finish. So few episodes show success. They make progress but it feels incomplete.
I've watched some of these and I'm struck with the "mental illness" component of this. It's not laziness or bad habits or someone who is too busy. It's truly a mental illness that they cannot see what they are living in and are so stuck in inaction that they will just keep accumulating stuff.
Spouse has been watching the show since its inception with a combination of schadenfreude and "there but for the grace of God". There are actually two of them-- A&E's "Hoarders" and TLC's poignantly-eponymous "Buried Alive".

From occasional followups and talk-show commentary, it's not only a mental illness but one with a nearly 0% cure rate. (One of the psychologists claims to have been raised by a hoarder.) Just about every person featured on the show has headed right back down the slippery slope.

Frankly, my passing glimpses of those shows inspire me to go clean a closet (see the "Simplifying Saturday" thread). Spouse no longer worries about her habit of occasionally scooping up tchotchkes at garage sales.

The families are traumatized too. IIRC, Peter Walsh was making the talk-show rounds a few years ago with his "Too Much Stuff" books. One of his stories was a woman whose brain-cancer surgery left her with a hoarding compulsion. When she died, her family called him in for help in coping with their loss, the horror of the experience, and the overwhelming task of cleaning it all out.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:46 AM   #10
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Maybe these shows open the eyes of those who actually don't realize there are folks that live like this or those with addictions so heavy they ruin theirs and other lives, but I'm aware of it...and don't need to boost my own self-esteem by watching others that are sick. I'm at the point regarding these shows to saying: What the hell is wrong with the American people to even watch this sh@t?
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Spouse has been watching the show since its inception with a combination of schadenfreude and "there but for the grace of God". There are actually two of them-- A&E's "Hoarders" and TLC's poignantly-eponymous "Buried Alive".

From occasional followups and talk-show commentary, it's not only a mental illness but one with a nearly 0% cure rate. (One of the psychologists claims to have been raised by a hoarder.) Just about every person featured on the show has headed right back down the slippery slope.

Frankly, my passing glimpses of those shows inspire me to go clean a closet (see the "Simplifying Saturday" thread). Spouse no longer worries about her habit of occasionally scooping up tchotchkes at garage sales.

The families are traumatized too. IIRC, Peter Walsh was making the talk-show rounds a few years ago with his "Too Much Stuff" books. One of his stories was a woman whose brain-cancer surgery left her with a hoarding compulsion. When she died, her family called him in for help in coping with their loss, the horror of the experience, and the overwhelming task of cleaning it all out.

For the ones that are so bad they are on the TV.... I agree that cure rate is 0%.... but for all hoarders I think it is not...

My mother was one... it was always a struggle to get her to throw away all the old crap that she collected... I think a lot of her problem was growing up during the depression... we finally got her moved to a small 1BR condo and threw away a LOT of crap.. she was OK with it and has not gone down the path again...

Now, I have that gene... my wife calls me a hampster that wants to save everything.... but I have started to throw away a lot of stuff that I would not have a long time ago... and I do not miss any of it at all... fortunately for me it is not an obsession....
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #12
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Maybe these shows open the eyes of those who actually don't realize there are folks that live like this or those with addictions so heavy they ruin theirs and other lives, but I'm aware of it...and don't need to boost my own self-esteem by watching others that are sick. I'm at the point regarding these shows to saying: What the hell is wrong with the American people to even watch this sh@t?
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:59 AM   #13
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I just watched the first few minutes of the episode below. Oh man!

http://www.aetv.com/hoarders/video/?...d=615470187001
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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My mother was one... it was always a struggle to get her to throw away all the old crap that she collected... I think a lot of her problem was growing up during the depression... we finally got her moved to a small 1BR condo and threw away a LOT of crap.. she was OK with it and has not gone down the path again...
Now, I have that gene... my wife calls me a hampster that wants to save everything.... but I have started to throw away a lot of stuff that I would not have a long time ago... and I do not miss any of it at all... fortunately for me it is not an obsession....
Well, the diagnosis could be a chicken/egg proposition. It may be written to standards that ensure only a lifelong hardwired hoarder would be able to make good TV drama reach its criteria, practically guaranteeing a failure to cure.

According to the TV doctors, there's a genetic predisposition toward obsessive/compulsive behavior that's triggered by some sort of trauma-- and then the hoarding behavior more or less permanently changes the brain chemistry. The only "successful" cure mentioned on the shows involved a 21-year-old who may have still been young enough to climb out of the pit and stay out. But his trauma was persecution for being gay, and I suspect that he has a lifetime of trauma ahead of him.

As for your mother, I have a MIL like that. I suspect it comes from being a child of the Depression, not from any particular hardwiring or trauma. In fact most of the trauma around her life has been inflicted by her, much as I might wish for some to be inflicted on her.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #15
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Well, the diagnosis could be a chicken/egg proposition. It may be written to standards that ensure only a lifelong hardwired hoarder would be able to make good TV drama reach its criteria, practically guaranteeing a failure to cure.

According to the TV doctors, there's a genetic predisposition toward obsessive/compulsive behavior that's triggered by some sort of trauma-- and then the hoarding behavior more or less permanently changes the brain chemistry. The only "successful" cure mentioned on the shows involved a 21-year-old who may have still been young enough to climb out of the pit and stay out. But his trauma was persecution for being gay, and I suspect that he has a lifetime of trauma ahead of him.

As for your mother, I have a MIL like that. I suspect it comes from being a child of the Depression, not from any particular hardwiring or trauma. In fact most of the trauma around her life has been inflicted by her, much as I might wish for some to be inflicted on her.

True... but I think like most problems there are degrees... I think that my mother is hardwired for this.... because I can tell that I am a bit hardwired for it myself...

Now, my dad did hoard, but I think all of his was growing up during the depression... he kept stuff that you might use one day, and kept it in neat order in the garage... we had cans of almost any kind of nail or screw or nut and bolt you could think of.... the cans were painted yellow with the important info lettered in black... we kept scraps of pipe, wood, etc. etc... and if we needed something, we ususally found it.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #16
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My dad (who'd be 100 if he was alive) did the same as yours, TexasProud. He was also organized about it. And my mom did the same with her sewing/embroidery/crafts stuff (though less neat and tidy than dad...threads, pins, and scraps do have a way of wandering around the house), and so do I. Unlike the poor demented hoarders, though, we do not have stuff sitting in the hallways, on the furniture, etc. That would have horrified my parents.

Although years often go by without using a particular item, I can find whatever I need to mend anything made of fabric. When the strap on my leather purse broke, I already had the leather needle and sail-maker's thread to fix it for another 3 years of use.

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Now, my dad did hoard, but I think all of his was growing up during the depression... he kept stuff that you might use one day, and kept it in neat order in the garage... we had cans of almost any kind of nail or screw or nut and bolt you could think of.... the cans were painted yellow with the important info lettered in black... we kept scraps of pipe, wood, etc. etc... and if we needed something, we ususally found it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:03 PM   #17
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I think the show is disturbing, and almost always (can't watch it any more but the ones I saw) is an unhappy ending. I wonder how someone can live like that but then I think most have a bit of "hoarder" in us. I've been emptying the house of all unused items in preparation for FIRE in another country, and, sometmes it's hard to chuck something that's been sitting in the storage room for 20 years and never been used.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Having no TV, this is the phrase that comes to mind about nearly all mass entertainment available these days: Defining Deviancy Down

From an article by J. Dirske:
“Defining deviancy down” is a commonly known phrase coined by the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1993, Moynihan wrote a report entitled, "How We've Become Accustomed to Alarming Levels of Crime and Destructive Behavior," in response to the sharp increase of violent deaths apart of the so-called “culture of crime” in the early 1990s.
I think that Moynihan would today be unable to publically say 2/3 of what he said in the 60s. Welcome to the refuse heap.

Ha
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:44 PM   #19
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I've never seen the show. Doesn't sound like one I want to see.

I saw a new one the other night that caught my interest. The truck drivers on the show 'Ice Road Truckers' are on a new show. I know, what your thinking but you might take a look before turning up your nose. Some interesting roads in India, through the Himalayas.

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Old 10-07-2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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I'd be interested in an episode on a hoarder who is not as extreme as the one I saw. That is, instead of someone with 16 dead cats in the house, someone with a very cluttered but sanitary house. There was a woman down the street who was always adding lawn ornaments. I'd be curious to know what makes her tick.
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