To Learn More
Terrence Shulman will pres
ent a program on compul-
sive shopping, spending,
and hoarding on Tuesday,
Oct. 25, 7-9:30 p.m. at the
Shulman will sign copies
of his new
will be avail-
able for pur-
tion is $24.
as "goat trails," can be dangerous,
especially in emergency situations
where every second counts.
Wiseman said that hoarding also
increases the chances of a fire, espe-
cially when the clutter spills over
into utility rooms where hot water
heaters are housed.
"A substantial number of fires are
caused by combustibles too close to
a water heater or other igniter, such
as a space heater': said Wiseman.
He said stockpiling old newspa-
pers, clothes, books and other items
adds to the overall weight of the
house, increasing the risk of struc-
tural collapse. When unsanitary or
dangerous situations are discovered
by public safety workers or township
code enforcement personnel, the
resident is usually referred to a local
social service agency.
"We try to get these people help):
Wiseman said. "There's usually some
degree of mental illness involved."
There is currently no insur-
ance diagnostic code for hoarding,
although treatment is sometimes
covered using diagnoses of depres-
sion, anxiety or obsessive compul-
sive disorders, conditions that can
also be present in people who hoard.
A new category for hoarding disor-
der will be included in the fifth edi-
tion of the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-
5), which comes out in May 2013.
Nina, a published writer and poet,
said she is more optimistic now
than she was a year ago when she
discontinued therapy. She hopes her
attachment to material possessions
will lessen as she grows older.
"You wouldn't know to look at me
that I have this problem': she said.
"My mind is not the mess that my
house is. It's like I'm two people." I I
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October 13 • 2011