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How can I begin to help my mum, I suspect issues with depression, her hoarding is beyond a joke, HELP (v long, sorry)

(8 Posts)
DaughterofaWomble Sun 17-Aug-08 20:37:03

<deep breath> here goes, my mother has always hoarded, all the way through my childhood there were always bags of clothing, stacks of books, newspapers etc, which just got worse over the years but because it was a gradual thing I didn't really acknowledge how not normal this was.

It has now got to the point that within my parents house (I have one brother at home ft and 2 at home pt, my parents have a large bungalow)
-my mother sleeps in the spare room, which is stacked all round to head height, and you have to duck to get through the door,
-the corridors are half the width they should be floor to ceiling,
-there are 2 large rooms that you cannot enter, one has never been used in the 10 years since the house was extended.
-the kitchen is such a hazard I don't know where to begin
-the main living room is a big room but actual useable space within the room is approx 1/4 of it's floor area.

I know my mother has mh issues and has for years. some of the labels I have tentatively applied are depression, OCD (which manefists itself as hoarding), anxiety.

So ideas, please. Things have now reached the point where the situation is really affecting my dads health. if he tries to through any of the newspapers etc away she kicks off into such a tantrum, screaming, stropping, bellowing, sulking etc. If I suggest coming over to help her I get much the same reaction. She's always going on about how she had plans to do xyz but

Where do I start trying to get her help. Dad is reluctant in case of outside interferance, ["they might section her"] but i think its reached the point where something has to be done. she isn't really willing to go to the gp, is in total denial about the situation.

help pleasesad

thisisyesterday Sun 17-Aug-08 20:40:50

oh you poor things
sadly, it is very hard to help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

can you talk to your mum about the hoarding and stuff? or could your dad?
if she is willing too then she should see her GP and get some therapy, and some medication to ease things for her.

I very much doubt she would be sectioned unless they believe that she is a danger to herself, or to others, which it doesn't sound like she is at all.
and if she is willingly seeking help then that's a good thing.

procrastinatingparent Sun 17-Aug-08 20:41:22

Sorry to hear this. sad

I have friends who have parents with this problem and it is very very hard. It is obviously a mental health issue but a pretty intractable one, I think.

I don't know what you can do, but I hope someone else does.

Ready4anotherCoffee Sun 17-Aug-08 20:51:31

I have tried to bring it up with her using many different ways, she is absolutly adamant that there is nothing wrong that a gp cannot do anything to help. When I tried yeaterday, she started on one saying that it was all my dad's fault as he refused to buy storage boxes for our toys as small children, and because he refused to put a fixed staircase into the attic so she could store stuff up there. It is already chocka.

I am becoming very concerned for my dad, as he admitted it is making him despondant, and he is a stiff upper lip chap.

procrastinatingparent Sun 17-Aug-08 21:03:17

The total denial sounds typical, from the very little I know about this.

Have you googled hoarding to find out what the standard treatment is?

My friend ended up having to tell her mother that she would not be bringing her grandchildren there while the house was like that.

thisisyesterday Sun 17-Aug-08 21:07:06

maybe your dad needs to stand up to her and really just say look, this needs sorting.

we have x amount of room, and x amount of stuff. some HAS to go.
and help her sort through it all and get rid of some.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 21:07:48

Sounds very much like my dad daughterofawomble. I know he i depressed and drinks way too much but I don't know how/ if I can help. His house sounds like your mums and was always a pit when we were growing up. He actually goes out and looks for crap to buy to fill what little space there is in the house. There are 2 bedrooms no one can even get in, his bedroom is chocka block with junk too. The attic is so filled with books and rubbish that the ceilings below are bowing and the plaster is cracked. He has every copy of Auto Car magazine since 1972 or something daft like that and he can't bare to throw any out. He goes round buying pointless ornaments just to dump on a side board which is already so full, it's ridicullous.

I'll be watching this to see any good suggestions. However, I've tried talking to him about it and he just down plays it and says there's no point in having empty space. He gets angry if I try and do anything to help or throw things out. He's in total denial about it and the drinking. He's been like it since my mum died 18 years ago.

It must be very hard for you to see it affecting other people too. Sorry I don;t have any advice but I have sympathy.

DaughterofaWomble Sun 17-Aug-08 21:08:05

I said I'd speak to my HV first.

I have tried saying I will not visit util it is clearer. Her own mother said the same, when she was alive. Nothing changed.

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