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Clutter disorder could be the precursor to hoarding

by Cheryl E Preston 8 months ago in disorder

Understanding where you might be heading could be the first step to prevent future troubles.

From childhood, I have been the one to have things cluttered. My coat pocket would have cookie crumbs and tissues, my pocketbook would be filled with junk, and my desk and locker at school were never neat. I tried really hard and had days where I put everything in its place and threw away the excess. Unfortunately, it never lasted. As a teenager, I was the one whose nail polish would chip and my hair would often be out of place. Once a month I would reorganize my clothing and personal belongings, throwing away things I did not need only to be in the same predicament later.

I had never heard of hoarding and simply thought I was messy. After doing the laundry I would not fold the items neatly like others. It was as if my brain was wired differently and I had an inability to pay attention to detail. Over the years I listened to two older relatives on different sides of the family tell the same tale. Each of them had a sister who kept things untidy and they could not stand it. When the television shows about hoarding began surfacing I realized that was not my issue. I often pushed myself to get everything in its place. My husband has been a big help and at times if he started cleaning and got things to a certain point, I could take over with ease.

The cover photo shows a cluttered sink and kitchen cabinet which can easily be cleaned up. The following photo shows a home where hoarding has taken place and there is a major difference. Everyone probably gets overwhelmed every now and then and things get messy but those who deal with clutter disorder have to fight really hard to keep things straight. If that's you, please do all you can to get a handle on it so you do not turn into a hoarder.

I am not buried alive by piles of clothing and I do not shop till I drop and fill an overcrowded home. At times, my dishes or laundry piles up, or items in my dresser drawers get jumbled. I have instructed my family members to give me gentle reminders and this seems to work pretty well for a season. Somehow, there is a point where everything starts to unravel again. I once read a statistic that said that writers were untidy. I am sure this is not true in every case but it applies to me. I do keep my vehicle neat but when I see those whose cars are filled with "stuff" I wonder if they are dealing with clutter disorder.

I have named this psychological issue because I cannot find anything out about it but there is a lot of information on hoarding. I wonder if this is how hoarders start out and they simply get so overwhelmed they cannot get out of it? I have had a lot of challenges in my life and do not know if they play a part but I am certain they do. As a child, I was teased for being thin and also very light complexioned. I did not eat the foods that others were enjoying and was very picky about what I ate. I was laughed at for not being good in sports and often humiliated in crowds of girls.

I was nervous because I was always anticipating someone picking on me and I know all of this probably plays a role. At first, I thought I had outgrown certain behaviors after I went to college, got married, and had my first child. Later during financial difficulties when my spouse was laid off, I found myself slacking off again. People who do not understand have judged me harshly and called me lazy but that is not it. When my brain is overloaded I tend to shut down.

I was told that medication would not work if I did not see whatever was bothering me as changing and no medication that I was prescribed stopped the clutter. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, panic, and clinical depression. I am thankful that I now have a better understanding of my body and mind. I can feel when I am becoming overwhelmed and stop and take breaks whenever possible. I am not against medication because it works for many people but it did not work for me. Xanax, Prozac, valium, Zoloft, and Klonopin basically made me sleepy and that was it.

Today I pray, read my Bible, take long walks and do a lot of deep breathing throughout the day and this helps. Writing is also a form of therapy that benefits me. I don't believe anyone is ever cured of such things but learns to manage and cope with the issues and try to prevent triggers. If you find that you keep things messy and are unable to be neat as a pin, please do not think harshly of yourself. Don't allow others who don't walk in your shoes to make you think they are superior. For all they know they might be dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and are keeping everything in its place out of obsession and compulsion.

I have shared my story for all of those out there who have been called slackers, and lazy when they possibly cannot help themselves. I think of the character "the Glitch" in the animated movie Wreck-It-Ralph. Every person on this earth has some type of glitch and there are no perfect people. It's just that some individuals can mask their shortcomings while others have their out front for all the world to see. This is my glitch so I emphasize my superpowers. I am gifted to be a writer, a public speaker, and I was born with the ability to often knowing things and warning people before they happen.

If you find that you cannot keep things in order then please get a medical checkup to rule out illness. Seek assistance from those willing to help you or give you reminders when things start going south. Tap into your superpowers and accentuate the positive in your life. Most of all realized you are not alone. If this story has been beneficial to you please consider leaving a tip. Every $1.00 is appreciated.

disorder

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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Read next: Please Remember to Breathe: my first experience with anxiety disorder

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