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Organize Your Life and Stop Hoarding

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How to Stop Hoarding

At Hypnosis Institute of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, we are currently working on our newest program for hoarders. The purpose of this is to stop the behavior of hoarding and to give the hoarder a set of easily adapted optional behaviors. It is a way of teaching the person that we cannot change the hoarding triggers, but we can change our response to those triggers. It kind of works like muscle memory in sports.


If you are learning how to hit a baseball, and you practice the same movements over and over, your muscles learn from that repetition. It works the same way in your mind. When your triggers get triggered, they produce the same behaviors over and over. With hypnosis, we can change the response behavior. We cannot change the trigger, but we simply change what we do about it.

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Also, we practice the new responses until the new response becomes automatic just like in sports.


The subject of hoarding is kind of new. Not really new, but it has certainly moved to the forefront with the advent of the TV show ‘Hoarders’. The habit of hoarding develops over a period of time, and not everyone goes to extremes. It does not become a problem until it impacts on your normal life.

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When this begins to happen, the downhill slide goes very rapidly. It spills into every area of a person's life. Their whole life goes out of control, and their reality is altered tremendously. They become isolated from their family and friends. They somehow think that they need all of this stuff. They cannot seem to throw anything away. 


Their houses fill up with garbage and even dead animals. All of the food in their refrigerator goes bad and smells awful yet they will not 

throw it away.


They are constantly living in filth and putting their lives at stake. In some cases, their neighbors start complaining and legal action is taken. This process is devastating for the individual and unthinkable. They have slipped so far over the edge and are no longer in touch with reality at all.


If things have gotten to this point, very intense and continuous therapy is called for. It can take years to turn their lives around.


Hypnosis can be a vital tool in the implementation of counseling and therapy. It is really most effective if started before the hoarding gets to this point. But, because of the secrecy of this lifestyle and the inherent embarrassment that comes along with it, these people can live for years in utter isolation. The outside world does not see the hellish decline that these people are living in.


Without intervention from someone on the outside, these people are doomed to exist in this quagmire until death or until some disaster happens. This is very sad and frightening. But, there is hope and help.


If this situation sounds familiar, if you know someone who is living in what you might suspect is a hoarding type of lifestyle or if you recognize these behaviors in your own life, then please take action. Intervene on your own behalf, or on behalf of someone you know. This behavior does not go away by itself – if left unattended – it only gets worse.

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